• February 7, 2013
  • Europe

H.I.G. Europe Establishes Education Platform and Invests in St. Gilgen International School in Austria

LONDON – 07 February 2013 – H.I.G. Europe (“H.I.G.”), the European arm of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, today announced that it has completed an investment into St. Gilgen International School (“StGIS”), a prestigious, international day and boarding school for grades 4 to 12, located in the lakeside town of St. Gilgen, near Salzburg, Austria.

H.I.G. is partnering with StGIS’s founder, Dipl. Ing. Alexander Serda, a renowned Austrian Architect and entrepreneur, who will retain an ownership stake in the school. StGIS is the founding school of the Academos Group, a newly established platform through which H.I.G. intends to establish a group of premium international schools around the world.

StGIS is one of Europe’s leading international schools dedicated to its mission of offering a balanced and challenging international education to motivated and talented students. Equipped with a world-class faculty and an industry leading student to teacher ratio (4:1), the school is committed to academic excellence, guaranteeing small class sizes and a highly personalised approach to teaching. The school offers a diverse and rigorous curriculum, with all grade 11 and 12 students undertaking the International Baccalaureate (“IB”) diploma. Academic courses are taught in English, with German, Spanish and other languages on offer. Results for the IB are amongst the highest in Europe and students are made offers by top universities around the world including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, Oxford and Cambridge.

The school enjoys excellent facilities and a state-of-the-art campus that is symbiotic with the town of St Gilgen and has strong links to the local community. Situated on Lake Wolfgang and surrounded by mountains, the village offers students immediate access to superb outdoor and cultural pursuits. Students’ academic lives are carefully balanced with a rich extra-curriculum program that includes a wide range of activities such as community service, art, drama, music, skiing, mountain climbing, rowing and sailing.

The school is led by Michael Chapman who has over 20 years of experience leading schools and was designated as a “National Leader of Education” in the UK in 2008, the highest accolade for school heads reserved for those with a proven track record of outstanding learner achievement, success and innovation over an extended period. Commenting on H.I.G. Europe’s investment, Mr. Chapman, said: “This new investment by H.I.G. is welcomed warmly as a wonderful opportunity to continue our success in building one of the truly outstanding centres of learning in Europe. It provides StGIS a secure future that remains true to our founding values, educational vision and commitment to excellence whilst also offering exciting new opportunities for further development”.

Dipl. Ing. Alexander Serda, the school’s founder, said: “Partnering with H.I.G. is an exciting milestone for StGIS which is testament to our major accomplishments, provides strong support for continued success and enables us to complete the founding vision of building a group of premium international schools that echoes the strong ethos and values of StGIS”.

Dr. Matthias Allgaier, Managing Director of H.I.G. Europe, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Mr. Serda, a visionary who has created an exceptional and unique academic institution, and to be backing an outstanding leadership team headed by Mr. Chapman. We are impressed by what the school has achieved over the past few years and we are delighted that Mr. Chapman has made a personal long-term commitment to leading the school”.

About St Gilgen International School (“StGIS”)
StGIS is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of St Gilgen, Austria. The school has the capacity to teach 250 students from grades 4 to 12 and offers a broad and rigorous international curriculum with all students in grades 11 and 12 undertaking the International Baccalaureate (“IB”) Diploma and students in grade 10 undertaking the Pre-IB curriculum. Academic courses are taught in English, with German, Spanish and other languages on offer. For students whose native language is not English, intensive English instruction is provided. The school is committed to small class sizes and personalised learning with market leading student to teacher ratios. StGIS offers an extensive range of extracurricular artistic, athletic and cultural activities. The student body represents over 25 nationalities from countries around the world. StGIS is an IB World School and a member of the Council of International Schools, the European Council of International Schools and the Swiss Group of International Schools and is a registered Cambridge International Centre. The school received an outstanding review by the UK OFSTED Independent Schools Inspectorate in June 2012.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. Capital is a leading global private equity investment firm with more than €8.5 billion of equity capital under management and a team of more than 250 investment professionals. Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and San Francisco in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specialises in providing capital to small and medium-sized companies with attractive growth potential. H.I.G. invests in management-led buyouts and recapitalizations of profitable and well managed businesses. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 80 companies with combined revenues in excess of €22 billion.


Matthias Allgaier
Managing Director

H.I.G. European Capital Partners, LLP
25 St. George Street
London W1S 1FS
020 7318 5700