GSM expands portfolio with new acquisition

Crown Private School is global player's maiden acquisition in the UAE

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A Staff Reporter

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Crown Private School, founded by Avalon Global Education, is an esteemed educational institution in Ajman, catering to over 1,000 students aged 3 to 18 years. — Supplied photo
Crown Private School, founded by Avalon Global Education, is an esteemed educational institution in Ajman, catering to over 1,000 students aged 3 to 18 years. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 12 Nov 2023, 8:09 PM

Global Schools Management (GSM), which owns over 165 schools, and 45,000 students in the US, Middle East, UK and Africa has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Crown Private School of Ajman. The move underscores GSM’s expansion strategy in the GCC region, with Crown Private School being its maiden school acquisition in the UAE.

Crown Private School, founded by Avalon Global Education, is an esteemed educational institution in Ajman, catering to over 1,000 students aged 3 to 18 years. Offering the National Curriculum for England, the school boasts an innovation-driven approach, with facilities such as their robotics and innovation laboratory.


The school’s founder, Vinod Sharma, and his team will continue to manage and oversee the operations, ensuring the school’s longstanding values and standards remain intact. Avalon Global Education were advised on this transaction by Ideal Capital, a leading advisory firm in Dubai.

Speaking on the acquisition, Ron Packard, the founder of GSM and educationist, said: “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.”


Sharma said: “I’m delighted to welcome GSM on board as our partners. Crown Private School is Ajman’s most cherished school, loved by both Emiratis and expatriates and I say this with all my gratitude to the Royal Family of Ajman for their invaluable support. I’m optimistic that this alliance will propel Crown to greater heights. I must thank all those involved in this transaction, especially our advisors Ideal Capital, for seeing this transaction through to completion.”

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 Statistics 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.

This economic growth of Ajman, and the growth of Crown Private School illustrate that international investment is expanding beyond the traditional investment hotspots within the region.

Safanad and GSM announced an initial investment of $200 million in the region’s education sector at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) 6 in October 2022, shortly after announcing the acquisition of BBD Education, a premier provider of professional education services and management for the growing schools’ market in the GCC. 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.

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.”



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