Byju’s is reportedly in preliminary discussions with private equity firms, including Bain Capital and KKR for a potential sale of a controlling stake in Aakash Educational Services, an essential asset within the edtech giant’s portfolio. This development follows previous reports indicating a potential return of Aakash Chaudhry as CEO of Aakash.
According to media reports, private equity (PE) firms such as Carlyle, are open to supporting Aakash Chaudhry and his family in repurchasing Aakash, which they previously sold to Think and Learn (the parent company of Byju’s ) in April 2021. Interested parties are considering transactions that involve a change in management control, with a requirement that at least 51 per cent of the stake be sold to them.
The ongoing discussions are in the early stages and are contingent on various factors, including valuations, due diligence, shareholders’ approval and approval from hedge fund Davidson Kempner, which is owed USD 96 million.
The edtech gaint is reportedly aiming for a valuation of Rs 7,000 to 8,000 crore for Aakash, aligning with the acquisition price when Aakash was initially acquired.
Reports added that Ranjan Pai, Chairman of Manipal Group, has offered financial support to Byju Raveendran to help settle dues to lenders, with potential equity and structured debt investments that may lead to a significant dilution of Raveendran’s stake in Aakash. This has attracted private equity firms seeing a buyout opportunity.