Safanad Education Platform Global School Management Expands GCC Portfolio with Acquisition of the Crown Private School

  • Global School Management (GSM) announces the acquisition of Crown Private School in Ajman, UAE
  • Acquisition reflects the commitment of GSM to the GCC region, expanding on the platform’s existing ownership of iCademy Middle East and $200M regional investment plan

15 November 2023 – Global School Management, an international education company that operates over 175 schools with 55,000+ students in the US, Middle East, UK, and Africa, announced an acquisition of a majority stake in Crown Private School of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. GSM was established in 2014 with Safanad as a founding investor. The move underscores GSM’s commitment to the GCC region, following on the commitment of $200M to the region’s education sector announced at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) 6th in October 2022. Safanad, as the founding investor in GSM, launched Safanad KSA at this year’s FII to execute on an investment strategy in Saudi Arabia and the GCC, committing US$3B (SAR 11B+) over the next five years.

Founded by Avalon Global Education, Crown Private School of Ajman offers a British style curriculum to more than 1,000 students aged 3 to 18 years. Known for its innovation-driven approach, Crown Private School boasts state-of-the-art facilities such as a robotics and innovation laboratory.

Ron Packard, Founder and CEO of GSM, comments, “I am delighted to announce that we have acquired a majority stake in Crown Private School in Ajman. The high-quality offering of the school has allowed it to grow substantially both during and shortly after the pandemic. This was highly unusual for schools in the region. I look forward to working with our community in Ajman and believe the school has a bright future ahead as it continues to deliver the highest quality of education in Ajman.”

Shaun Robison, CEO of GSM Middle East, added, “We’re delighted with our acquisition of a majority stake in Crown Private School. I’ve known Vinod Sharma for some time, and the growth and development of the school through challenging times have always impressed me. We see a tremendous upside in Ajman, thanks to innovative government initiatives.”

Kamal Bahamdan, Founder and CEO of Safanad, commented, “We are excited to support GSM’s continued expansion into the region. The GCC needs high-quality operators like GSM that can improve the region’s educational quality. We are proud, as the founding investor in GSM, to continue to support GSM as it expands into the region.”

The acquisition comes at a time when Ajman’s economy showcased robust growth, with a 5.7% increment in 2022, as stated by the Ajman Statistic Centre’s annual report. The first quarter of 2023 further solidified this growth, with the Department of Economic Development in Ajman registering a 13% growth in new licenses.

The economic growth of Ajman, and the growth of Crown Private School illustrate that international investment is expanding beyond the traditional investment hotspots in the region. Further investments in the region will solidify GSM as a serious international operator in the MENA region, and the acquisition of Crown aligns to this investment vision.