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Switzerland's Jacobs Holding to acquire schools group Cognita

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ZURICH (Reuters) – The investment firm for Switzerland’s wealthy Jacobs family has agreed to acquire global private schools group Cognita from Bregal Investments and KKR <KKR.N>, the partners said on Monday, without giving financial terms.

Sky News had reported last week the deal was worth 2 billion pounds.

Cognita operates more than 70 schools in eight countries, including Britain, Singapore, Chile and Brazil, educating more than 40,000 children, a joint statement said.

Cognita was formed in 2004 by private equity firm Bregal and the late Chris Woodhead, the former chief inspector of schools in England. KKR took a 50 percent stake in 2013.

The transaction was set to complete in the fourth quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approvals.

Goldman Sachs International <GS.N> and Barclays [BARCR.UL]advised Bregal Investments and KKR, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch <BAC.N> advised Jacobs Holding, the investment firm founded in 1994 by entrepreneur Klaus Jacobs.

Jacobs Holding’s beneficiary is the charitable Jacobs Foundation, a charity focussed on child development and learning.

The Jacobs family controls Barry Callebaut <BARN.S>, which Klaus Jacobs also founded. Zurich-based Barry is the world’s biggest cocoa manufacturer and produces chocolate for Nestle <NESN.VX> and Mondelez <MDLZ.O>, among others.

(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Louise Heavens)

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