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Byju’s to acquire Aakash Educational Services through strategic merger

Aakash will continue to function independently. Its founders and Blackstone to become shareholders in Byju’s

Byju’s has announced its strategic partnership with Aakash Educational Services (AESL).

This partnership brings together two education brands in India - combining Aakash’s expertise in the test-prep segment with Byju’s content and tech capabilities. After the integration, Byju’s will make further investments to accelerate Aakash’s growth.

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In 2019, AESL partnered with Blackstone to create India’s largest digitally enabled, omni-channel test preparation company. Under the leadership of its Founder JC Chaudhry and Aakash Chaudhry, it will continue to function independently.

Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, Byju’s, said, “I am happy to have Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), a market leader and the most trusted name in the test-prep services, onboard with us. 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.”

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He further said, “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.”

Aakash Chaudhry, Managing Director, AESL, said, “At Aakash, we are looking to transform student experiences by steering innovative and digitally-enabled learning solutions. Together with Byju’s, we will work towards building an omni-channel 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 and Chairman JC 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.”

The addition of Aakash is a significant step towards strengthening Byju’s product offering. It reiterates the company’s focus on creating impactful learning products for students by adding more verticals, subjects, and languages to the same platform.

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.”

EY was the exclusive financial advisor for Byju’s on this transaction.  Phoenix Advisers was the exclusive advisor for the AESL.

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