The United Bank has joined an alliance to establish the Lighthouse platform for educational investments with a target capital of EGP 1.75bn. The alliance includes The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), Banque Misr, and Misr Insurance Holding Company.
Along with other investors, the alliance will subscribe in the first closing of the educational platform, with a value exceeding EGP 500m.
The Lighthouse platform has promising opportunities for growth and is in line with the alliance’s strategy by investing in Egyptian cadres who are able to form influential projects in the education sector through establishing new schools and buying existing schools, which the platform aspires to improve and maximize.
According to the new partnership agreement, the platform will be managed under the supervision of Hossam El-Qabbany – a specialist in the management and construction of schools and one of the founders of Orman Schools – in addition to Ironwood Investments and Misr Capital.
Ashraf El-Kady, Chairperson and Managing Director of the United Bank, said that the investment in education is an implementation of the policy of the Egyptian state and the directives of the political leadership to pay attention to the educational system and maximize its investments to support it technically.
Farag Abdel Hamid, Vice President of the United Bank; Ahmed El-Ghandour, Assistant Managing Director for Institutional Strategy and Investment; Ghada Mostafa, Head of the Investment Sector; and Ahmed Hablas, Head of Treasury and Capital Markets Sector at the United Bank, witnessed the ceremony.
He referred to the launch of the National Human Rights Strategy 2021, where the top priority was to invest in the educational system in its various stages of basic and technical education and higher education in accordance with Egypt’s Vision 2030.
He added that the institutional partnership between banking institutions and civil society institutions specialized in education, which resulted in the Lighthouse platform for educational investments, is one of the mechanisms for maximizing returns from the learning outcomes of citizens by upgrading the Egyptian educational system.
El-Kady explained that the educational system and technical education receive great attention from the Egyptian state. It considers them the locomotive of development, which is why the Ministry of Education and Technical Education and the Ministry of Higher Education seek to develop visions, mechanisms, and plans to meet the needs of the labour market and provide real job opportunities for graduates.
For his part, Hossam El-Qabbany, Chairperson of Lighthouse, stated that the school education sector is in dire need of the private sector to bridge the educational gap and include the latest educational management methods to effectively contribute to comprehensive national development.
He added that the vision of the Lighthouse platform is to provide a distinguished educational service within the reach of the middle class family.
Mohamed El-Sharif, CEO of Ironwood Investments and Deputy Chairperson of Lighthouse, said that Lighthouse was established with all the necessary ingredients to be a pioneer in education for the middle class, including technical, administrative and financial foundations.
He added that the platform has identified the schools in which it will start in the first investment round and seeks to start the second investment round before the end of 2022.
Beltone Financial acted as the financial advisor, while Matouk Bassiouny law Firm acted as the legal advisor to Lighthouse, while the Sovereign Fund of Egypt hired Renaissance Capital as the financial advisor and Baker & McKenzie as the legal advisor, while Al Kamel’s office acted as the legal advisor to Banque Misr and Misr Capital.