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Braeburn owners finalise deal to buy out Hillcrest

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Braeburn Schools Limited has reached a deal to acquire Hillcrest. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The sale agreement is however subject to approvals from the Ministry of Education and the competition watchdog.
  • Hillcrest School’s sale, whose financial details remain undisclosed, marks the third change in the ownership of elite learning institution in the last 11 years.
  • The sale of Hillcrest School comes three years after the institution was acquired by the Dubai-based GEMS Education for Sh2.6 billion.

Braeburn Schools Limited has reached a deal to acquire Hillcrest International, adding to the ownership twist for the school that was once owned by the late powerful politician Kenneth Matiba.

The schools said they reached the deal in principle on January 20, paving the way for the sale transaction by the start of the third term of the 2021/22 academic year.

The sale agreement is however subject to approvals from the Ministry of Education and the competition watchdog.

Hillcrest School’s sale, whose financial details remain undisclosed, marks the third change in the ownership of elite learning institution in the last 11 years.

“On completion of the sale transaction, Braeburn intends to continue operating the Hillcrest Schools under the Hillcrest brand and offer the highest quality of international curriculum education,” the schools said in a joint statement yesterday.

“We at Braeburn are very excited at the prospect of adding the Hillcrest Schools to the Braeburn Group. Students, parents and staff can look forward to a smooth transition and a progressive world-class international school.”

The sale of Hillcrest School comes three years after the institution was acquired by the Dubai-based GEMS Education for Sh2.6 billion.

Gems Education acquired it from private equity firm Fanisi Capital helping the Dubai chain of schools to expand in the local market, adding to its Nairobi-based GEMS Cambridge International School.

Fanisi Capital-led by IT millionaires, Ayisi Makatiani and Anthony Wahome had bought Hillcrest from the family of the late Kenneth Matiba in 2011, ending the 37-year old hold of the elite learning institution by the once presidential contestant.

Hillcrest Schools were founded in the 1960s and purchased by the late Kenneth Matiba, one of Kenya’s most powerful politicians in 1974.

The deal will see Braeburn evaluate Hillcrest School’s operations to develop a long-term, a move that signals review of the teaching and support staff numbers at the institution.

Braeburn Schools Limited said that Hillcrest Schools will however continue operating under the Hillcrest brand.

Braeburn currently operates nine campuses under the Braeburn and Braeside names in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania.

In Kenya, Braeburn has campuses in Nanyuki, Thika, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Lavington while in Tanzania, the school has its campus in Arusha.

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