EdTechX Holdings (Nasdaq: EDTX) announces $535m landmark education technology acquisition of Meten Education (China) and its digital platform Likeshuo

Romy Tuin
Romy Tuin
Dec 12, 2019 · 7 min read

EdTechX Holdings, the world’s first listed education and education technology SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company), has announced a definitive agreement with Meten Education (China) and its digital platform Likeshuo in a $535m landmark education technology transaction.

The new entity, Meten EdtechX, will be listed on Nasdaq and will focus on providing English and Future skills training for a growing market of students and young professionals in China. Meten EdtechX plans to raise up to $100m of development capital in conjunction with the closing of the transaction to fund ambitious growth plans including market consolidation in China and the roll out of Meten’s existing omnichannel distribution platform, combining digital delivery and strategic retail presence, across a total addressable market of more than 600 cities in China.

Meten, headquartered in Shenzhen in the heart of the Chinese Silicon Valley, is a market leader in ELT (English Language Training) in China, with a #1 position in the adult ELT segment (source: Frost & Sullivan). Meten operates an omnichannel (retail and digital) business comprising a nationwide network of 149 new generation learning centres (covering 32 cities in 14 provinces) under the brands Meten (adult) and ABC (junior brand), as well as the popular English digital tutoring platform for young professionals, Likeshuo. In January 2019, Meten raised a series C of $43 million led by China International Capital Corporation (CICC).

Meten has grown rapidly and profitably to reach $200 million (RMB 1,424m) in revenue and $20.1 million (RMB 144m) in EBITDA in 2018, up from $113.9million (RMB 802m) in revenue and $2.4 million (RMB 17.1m) in EBITDA in 2016, representing a 2-year revenue CAGR of 33% and 2-year EBITDA CAGR of 190%. The new group expects to at least double in size by end of 2021.

According to research published by Citibank, the ELT market in China is expected to grow to $43 billion in 2022, representing a 21% CAGR, mainly driven by growing expenditure on education, urbanisation, increasing awareness of the importance of English, and technology development.

According to research published by Morgan Stanley, the fast-paced urbanisation of China drives demand for education, vocational training and edtech services. By 2030, online tutoring could be utilised by over 30% of Chinese in education, rising from 10% now, and so represents a US$150 billion market.

Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet (CEO) and Charles McIntyre (Chairman), the founders of EdTechX Holdings, will sit on the board of Meten EdtechX alongside Meten’s founders.

At their annual EdtechX Europe conference joint keynote held in June 2019, Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet and Charles McIntyre declared: “Education is the ultimate consumer good for the rising and urban Chinese middle class, China represents more than 40% of the capital invested in education technology globally. For these reasons, China will soon dominate the knowledge economy!”

Benjamin and Charles presenting at the annual EdTechX Summit 2019

EdTechX Co-Founders, Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet (CEO) and Charles McIntyre (Chairman and CIO) declared in a joint statement:

“The growing urban Chinese middle class’ aspirations for their own careers and their children’s academic success is unleashing large consumer spend and investment opportunities for the education and lifelong learning markets in China. Education in China has become the ultimate consumer good! Demand for tutoring, English language training, job-oriented upskilling, is growing at double digit rate. Meten EdtechX will operate at the heart of this with a market leading position in the ELT segment and a profitable omnichannel business model combining strategic retail presence, technology and digital delivery”.

Meten Co-Founders, Jishuang Zhao, Siguang Peng, Yupeng Guo, declared in a joint statement:

“With the support of EdTechX and its international investor group, we become uniquely positioned to strengthen our market leading position and to make the most of the consolidation and digital growth opportunities available in our industry. Our approach will continue to be focused on profitable growth and to provide industry-leading English language education and training services to Chinese students and professionals. We are looking forward to this new phase of growth as a public company and as Meten EdtechX.”

The transaction is subject to SEC regulatory review and shareholders vote, expected in Q1 2020.

Financial advisors: Macquarie and Chardan Capital Markets are financial advisors to the transaction.

Additional information on the proposed transaction will be included in EdtechX’s Current Report on Form 8-K which will be filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

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About Meten Education (China) and Likeshuo

Meten, headquartered in Shenzhen in the heart of the Chinese Silicon Valley, is a market leader in English Learning Training (“ELT”) in China, with a leading position in the adult ELT segment. Meten operates an omnichannel (retail and digital) business comprising a nationwide network of 149 new generation learning centres (covering 32 cities in 14 provinces) under the brands Meten (adult) and ABC (junior brand), as well as the popular English digital tutoring platform for young professionals, Likeshuo. The company has been founded by entrepreneurs Jishuang Zhao, Siguang Peng, Yupeng Guo. They have been running the company since inception with a focus on profitable growth and a shared vision of providing industry-leading English language education and training services to Chinese students and professionals. In January 2019, Meten raised a series C of $43M led by China International Capital Corporation (CICC).

Listed Chinese peers include:

  • Omnichannel education stocks: TAL (NYSE:TAL), New Oriental Education & Technology (NYSE:EDU)
  • Pure play digital education stocks: GSX Tech Edu (NYSE:GSX), Koolearn Technology (HKG:1797), Youdao (NYSE:DAO)

About EdTechX Holdings Acquisition Corp.

EdTechX Holdings Acquisition Corp., headquartered in London UK, is public acquisition company sponsored by affiliates of a specialist “edtech” investment bank, IBIS Capital, and Azimut Enterprises, a Milan based global asset management firm with approximately $61 billion in AUM. EdTechX listed in the Nasdaq on October 2018, as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (“SPAC”) with a primary focus on the education, training and edtech sectors globally.

EdTechX is led by Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, and Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Charles McIntyre. Benjamin and Charles are long-standing business partners and have built businesses in the edtech, media and financial services sectors. Together, they lead IBIS Capital, a leading specialist education and edtech focused investment bank whose advisory arm was involved in the acquisition of Wall Street English China in 2018. In 2013, Charles and Benjamin also co-founded EdtechX Global, a world leading conference and insight network across Europe, Asia and China, gathering over 10,000 companies and 2000 industry leaders, innovators and influencers in the education, training and edtech industries. In addition, Charles McIntyre is Chairman of Learnlight, a leading English tutoring digital platform for corporates. Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet is also Chairman of the Board of CFBL (a French English Bilingual College in London).


Press /IR inquiries:
Citigate Dewe Rogerson (London):
Christen Thomson: Christen.Thomson@citigatedewerogerson.com

Capital Market inquiries:
Chardan- Yingjie Weng: yweng@chardan.com
Macquarie (Hong Kong)- Wendy Zhai: Wendy.Zhai@macquarie.com


Additional information on the proposed transaction will be included in EdtechX’s Current Report on Form 8-K which will be filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication shall neither constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words “estimates,” “projected,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “forecasts,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “future,” “propose” and variations of these words or similar expressions (or the negative versions of such words or expressions) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, conditions or results, and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside EdtechX’s or Meten’s management’s control, that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include: the inability to complete the transactions contemplated by the proposed business combination; the inability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination, which may be affected by, among other things, the amount of cash available following any redemptions by EdtechX stockholders; the ability to meet NASDAQ’s listing standards following the consummation of the transactions contemplated by the proposed business combination; costs related to the proposed business combination; [insert risks facing Meten’s business]. Other factors include the possibility that the proposed transaction does not close, including due to the failure to receive required security holder approvals, or the failure of other closing conditions. Neither EdtechX nor Meten undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

EdTechX360

Connecting the global learning community

Romy Tuin

Written by

Romy Tuin

Editor of EdTechX 360 and Head of Content at EdTechX. Writing about all things EdTech — edtechxeurope.com

EdTechX360

Connecting the global learning community

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