Learning app BYJU's to acquire Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) through a strategic merger pegged at close to $1 billion, bringing together two trusted education brands in India.
Amit Dixit, Co-Head of Asia Acquisitions and Head of India Private Equity at Blackstone, said: "We invested in AESL because it is one of the leading education brands in India with a professional management team best-in-class corporate governance and a 33-year track record of exceptional results. We have always believed omnichannel will be the winning model in test prep and tutoring, and we look forward to being a part of the partnership between the two foremost companies in Indian supplementary education - Aakash and BYJU'S. The combination of Aakash and BYJU'S is highly synergistic, and we are excited to help build India's largest education company."
Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of BYJU'S, said, "Our complementary strengths will enable us to build capabilities, create engaging and personalised learning programs. The future of learning is hybrid and this union will bring together the best of offline and online learning, as we combine our expertise to create impactful experiences for students."
"The pandemic has brought the importance of the blended format of learning to the forefront. As we unite our forces to bring together decades of expertise and experience, this partnership will further accelerate Aakash's growth and success," he added.
Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, AESL, said: "Together with BYJU'S, we will work towards building an omnichannel learning offering that will accelerate test-prep experience to the next level. While this partnership will enhance our operational verticals, Aakash will continue to operate as a separate entity with the same passion and commitment with which its Founder & Chairman J C Chaudhry incepted it. We are excited to partner with BYJU'S, and will strive to deliver long-term value to our students, employees, investors, and other stakeholders."
Aakash provides preparatory test services to students preparing for medical and engineering entrance exams, school/ board exams, KVPY, NTSE, Olympiads and other foundation level exams across its 215 centres. BYJU's, renowned for its content and tech capabilities, will now make investments to accelerate the growth of Aakash while strengthening its own product offering.