English language testing giant IDP Education (ASX: IEL) has expanded its global footprint with the acquisition of Taiwan-based student placement agency Intake Education for up to $83 million.
The buyout will give IDP Education exposure to Intake’s operations in Africa, Asia and Europe, building on the group’s $240 million acquisition of the British Council's Indian IELTS operations last year.
Intake Education, which changed its name from UKEAS last year, was established in Taiwan in 1993 and has helped more than 100,000 students study abroad since then. The company operates from 30 offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the UK.
IDP Education says the acquisition brings three decades of industry leadership in the UK-bound international education sector to the company, while adding expertise, experience and diversity to its global team.
“The geographic footprint of Intake complements IDP’s global network,” says interim CEO Murray Walton, who replaced Andrew Barkla earlier this month after more than seven years leading the company.
“Intake is the market leader for UK study in several countries and has the largest and most respected agency in West Africa which will accelerate IDP’s growth ambitions in this emerging region.
“Like IDP, Intake teams care deeply about getting great outcomes for their students and institution partners. We both proudly stay by our students’ sides from first enquiry through to starting in the classroom.”
IDP Education is the world’s largest international student placement company and a leading International English Language Testing System (IELTS) provider.
A recovery in the international education market following the pandemic and the acquisition of the British Council's Indian IELTS operations helped IDP Education’s student placement volumes rise 45 per cent in FY22 while IELTS volumes grew 67 per cent with markets in India and Nepal leading the rebound.
IDP Education posted a 139 per cent increase in net profit in constant currency terms to $102.8 million in FY22, built on a 48 per cent increase in revenue to $793.3 million.
The Intake Education acquisition marks the last major deal overseen by Barkla who tendered his resignation as CEO in May this year.
Walton, who is also IDP's chief financial officer, will remain as interim CEO until his replacement, Tennealle O’Shannessy, joins the company in February next year.
O’Shannessy, who is currently CEO of online beauty marketplace Adore Beauty, was chosen to lead the company for her background at employment group SEEK where she spent almost 10 years in global leadership roles overseeing the expansion of multinational education services and digital platforms.
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