Only have 1 minute? Here are 3 key takeaways from the piece:
• Growth fund INVENIO Partners and Accession Capital Partners (ACP) have acquired the vocational education division of LINK Group, a professional education business in Southern Europe.
• LINK’s vocational division is present in the B2C segment across multiple countries, including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.
• INVENIO and ACP plan to collaborate with LINK’s leadership team to expand the company’s geographic presence.
With over 20 years of experience, LINK’s vocational education division has a strong track record, educating over 6,000 students annually through its various academies such as IT, internet academy, and business tracks. LINK offers complimentary courses to the public and also looks to connect unemployed individuals with potential employers through in-person events.
The company’s headquarters are in Serbia – notably in Belgrade and in Novi Sad. Romanian institutions comprise LINK Academy and Business Academy, with two schools in Bucharest and Timișoara, while the Bosnian center of business activity is in Sarajevo. The Ukrainian and Moldavian offices are present in Kyiv and Chisinau.
With the deal, INVENIO and ACP will jointly acquire 100 percent of the vocational education business of LINK, as they also have a formal education business which includes two high schools, Tihomir Dyankov, CIO and Partner at INVENIO Partners, told The Recursive.
With the acquisition, the company’s product offering will be further developed to serve the growing need for upskilling of young professionals while introducing new programs to meet the requirements of the B2B segment.
For INVENIO, the acquisition adds to its core strategy of discovering new players that have the potential to further expand their geographic footprint in the SEE region, both through organic expansion and add-on acquisitions. Last year, INVENIO launched a €55M regional private equity and growth equity fund, Invenio Partners Fund II, with a mandate to invest in SMEs in Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia.
“Our goal when it comes to investing in an education institution such as LINK is to enter new markets organically, while also pursuing further additional acquisition opportunities that will allow the company to expand its current product offering to the B2B segment of the market,” Dyankov tells The Recursive.
For ACP, formerly known as Mezzanine Management, the investment looks to elevate LINK as a leading provider of vocational education in the SEE.
“We believe this investment and our partnership with INVENIO will help LINK become the leading provider of IT and business professional education in Southeastern Europe and we look forward to working together on this journey,” Marko Mitrovic, head of Western Balkans at ACP, said in a statement.
For INVENIO, investing into businesses that have a societal impact remains a priority, as previously outlined in their strategy.
“Societal impact continues to be a light motive of our operations. We interpreted our mandate from the JEREMIE program as not simply investing to make money but seeking to contribute to the improvement of the business climate in the country,” INVENIO’s managing partner Elvin Guri said in a previous interview with The Recursive.