(Adds Morgan Stanley, bank comments, financials)
By Dasha Afanasieva
LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - GEMS Education’s owners have chosen JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to lead the private schools group’s planned flotation, sources familiar with the matter said.
GEMS, which operates more than 250 schools across 14 countries, could have a market capitalisation of around $4.5-$5 billion, the sources said, in a London initial public offering (IPO) which is expected to take place in 2018.
Backed by Dubai-based Fajr Capital, Bahraini state investment fund Mumtalakat and investment firm Blackstone , GEMs said on Monday it had secured a $1.25 billion loan to refinance existing borrowings and support growth.
In the year ending Aug. 31, adjusted consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were $261.6 million, up from $212.8 million in 2016, an auditors’ report for GEMS MENASA in the Cayman Islands showed. Revenue rose to $926.2 million from $789.7 million in 2016.
Credit Suisse did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the other banks chosen as joint global coordinators and GEMS declined to comment.
Separately on Monday, GEMS said it had invested more than $1 billion in its school network since the 2014 financial year. (Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Additional reporting by Stanley Carvalho in Abu Dhabi; editing by Alexander Smith)