Dubai’s Varkey takes 12.5% stake in embattled Everonn

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Sunny Varkey shown with Bill Clinton at the launch of the Varkey GEMS Foundation

Sunny Varkey shown with Bill Clinton at the launch of the Varkey GEMS Foundation

Sunny Varkey, the founder of Dubai-based GEMS Education, has acquired a 12.5 percent stake in India’s Everonn Education, the firm announced.

Everonn’s share price on Tuesday jumped five percent to 367.2 rupees after the board approved the $28.7m sale to the Varkey Group.

Shares of the learning solutions provider have declined by over 40 percent since news of the arrest of its co-founder and managing P. Kishore over an alleged bribery and tax evasion case in August. News of the arrest prompted the resignation of its chairman, Dr Jamshed J. Irani.

Fitch Ratings on August 31 stopped its rating of Everonn due to lack of adequate information. “The ratings have been migrated to the "Non-Monitored" category due to lack of adequate information, and Fitch will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage of EEL,” Fitch said in a statement.

Varkey founded GEMS Education, part of the Varkey Group, in 1980 and is now the largest private schools operator for students from kindergarten to grade 12. The group last year said it planned to expand its operations across India to reach 100 schools.

“India is one of the key destinations, where we already lead several educational initiatives including 17 schools in major cities. We plan to own or manage over 100 schools in India over the next few years,” Varkey said in a statement.

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