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Inflexion completes acquisition of Times Higher Education from TPG Capital

Inflexion Private Equity is pleased to announce that it has acquired Times Higher Education (“THE”) from TPG Capital (“TPG”), the global private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG. THE, formerly part of Tes Global, has been carved out as an independent entity as part of the investment from Inflexion. The investment was made by Inflexion’s dedicated mid-market buyout funds.

THE is the world leader in university data, rankings and content, with institutions, academics, students, industry and governments utilising the information to gain insight, inform strategic priorities, benchmark, assess and select higher education institutions. THE has led on higher education analysis for nearly half a century, and has more than 700 clients globally across its data, consultancy and hiring services, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK and Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the US. 
For its 2019 University Rankings (including the World University Rankings), THE’s in-house data team analysed over nine million data points on 3,500 institutions worldwide, more than half of which featured. The website attracts over 30 million unique visitors annually. The company employs over 100 people across its five offices in the UK, US, Australia, China and Singapore.
TPG invested in THE as part of its acquisition of Tes Global in 2013. During its ownership, TPG led a successful digital transformation of the company, helping THE evolve into a leading, tech-enabled higher education brand capable of operating as a high-growth independent business.
The existing management team will work alongside Inflexion to address the growing demand from universities for data and branding products to improve the performance and academic achievement, as well as to attract students, academics and funding. In addition to cross-selling to existing clients, there will be a focus on acquiring new customers and launching add-on products through further enhancing the company’s digital offering and continuing the expansion into new international markets.  
Simon Turner, Managing Partner at Inflexion, commented: “Times Higher Education has an excellent brand and an exceptionally driven management team. By carving the business out, we can firmly focus on building its core strengths, namely through enhancing its digital presence and continuing its global expansion, particularly in the US and Asia. We look forward to working with management to build upon the strong foundations they’ve created.”
Trevor Barratt, CEO of THE, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Inflexion, who have shown a deep respect for our dedication to serving the higher education community. With their strong global focus, digital expertise and entrepreneurial roots, Inflexion is natural partner for us at an exciting stage in our development. They are exceptionally well placed to help us build on our track record of growth and to ensure the continued ambitious expansion of our business. I’d like to thank TPG for their support as our owners in recent years.”
Antonio Capo, Partner at TPG Capital, commented: “We are very proud of what THE has become under our ownership. From a predominantly UK focused, print-based academic faculty classifieds business, Trevor and his team have transformed THE into a global data platform providing an ever-expanding set of universities with mission-critical competitive and market intelligence. In the process, THE has become a force for the betterment of higher education the world over. We wish Trevor and his team all the best for an exciting new chapter under Inflexion’s stewardship.”

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