K12 merger and acquisitions – a transaction refresher

With 2020 expected to bring investment into kindergarten to year 12 (K12) we take a closer look at key aspects of a typical M&A process for sellers of, and investors in, nurseries and schools in England and Wales.

Having arrived in 2020 with a new majority Conservative Government firmly in place, operators of and investors in K12 institutions are quietly getting back to business. Although the recent fraught and hotly contested election campaign naturally had Brexit as its centre-stay, sector stakeholders were acutely aware of the Labour manifesto promise to charge VAT on school places alongside discussions as to whether charitable status for independent schools should be removed.

While arguments for and against VAT on fees and charitable status can and have been made, removal of the uncertainty surrounding the tax and charitable status of independent schools is allowing investors and operators to move forward with fewer concerns of a more challenging (from a fees perspective, at least) educational landscape on the horizon. We – as a law firm operating in the education sector – have seen this clearly evidenced in the sudden release of instructions embargoed pending the December 2019 election and satisfaction of milestones that will allow transactions and investments to proceed.

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