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SEEK buys bigger stake in online education
Exclusive: Founding principals set sail for long-standing Aus firm:

SEEK buys bigger stake in online education

A joint venture to provide online training and qualifications in partnership with a Victorian university is now majority-owned by SEEK.

Firms: Maddocks (Swinburne University of Technology); Arnold Bloch Leibler (SEEK)

Deal: SEEK (ASX:SEK) has purchased an additional 30 per cent of Online Education Services from the Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) in its joint venture with the higher education provider.

Value: $118 million

Area: M&A

Key players: The Maddocks team advising Swinburne was led by partner Rob Gregory (pictured). Senior associate Viviane Karoumbalis and associate Georgia Hunt assisted in the deal.

Swinburne University COO Andrew Field, strategy and commercial head David McCall and general counsel Tom Rowan were also heavily involved in the transaction.

Deal significance: Online Education Services (OES) is the result of a 50/50 joint venture between SEEK and the Swinburne University.

In 2011, each party made a $5 million investment to establish OES, which is valued today at over $350 million. More than 9,500 students are currently enrolled in OES.

As part of the most recent deal, SEEK has purchased an additional 30 per cent of the joint venture, increasing its overall stake to 80 per cent.

Maddocks lead partner Rob Gregory said the deal was an opportunity for the firm to showcase its expertise in the technology and higher education sectors.

“We are pleased to be able to assist our longstanding client, Swinburne, in this important matter,” Mr Gregory said.

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