Braeburn Schools Limited has reached a deal to acquire Hillcrest International Schools. The schools stated they reached the deal in principle on January 20th, 2022, paving the way for the sale transaction by the start of the third term of the 2021/22 academic year. Hillcrest Schools will however continue to operate under the Hillcrest brand.

The sale agreement is however pending for approvals by the Ministry of Education and the competition authority. The sale’s financial details have however remained undisclosed, marking the third change in the ownership of elite learning institution in the last 11 years.

“On completion of the sale transaction, Braeburn intends to continue operating the Hillcrest Schools under the Hillcrest brand and offer the highest quality of international curriculum education. “We at Braeburn are very excited at the prospect of adding the Hillcrest Schools to the Braeburn Group. Students, parents and staff can look forward to a smooth transition and a progressive world-class international school,” the schools said in a joint statement yesterday.

The sale of Hillcrest School comes three years after the institution was acquired by the Dubai-based GEMS Education for Ksh. 2.6 billion. GEMS Education acquired it from private equity firm Fanisi Capital helping the Dubai chain of schools to expand in the local market, adding to its Nairobi-based GEMS Cambridge International School. Fanisi Capital led by IT millionaires, Ayisi Makatiani and Anthony Wahome had bought Hillcrest from the family of the late Kenneth Matiba in 2011.

Hillcrest Schools were founded in the 1960s and purchased by the late Kenneth Matiba, perceived as one of Kenya’s most powerful politicians in 1974. The deal with see Braeburn evaluate Hillcrest School’s operations to develop a long-term, a move that signals review of the teaching and support staff numbers at the institution.

Braeburn currently operates nine campuses under the Braeburn and Braeside names in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania. In Kenya, Braeburn has campuses in Nanyuki, Thika, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Lavington while in Tanzania, the school has its campus in Arusha.