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University of Law Changes Hands Again

By John Hyde – The University of Law has changed hands for the second time in less than three years.

The UK’s largest law school announced last week that it had been acquired by international education and training provider Global University Systems (GUS), which has its headquarters in the Netherlands. No financial details were released.

GUS, whose ultimate ownership is unclear, already owns the London School of Business and Finance and the London College of Contemporary Arts. The company will now start a ‘strategic options review’ of all its UK businesses that could see some or all of them come under the umbrella of ULaw.

The former college of Law was acquired by Montagu Private Equity in November 2012, and the new owner has said it will enter a formal governance agreement that is ‘consistent’ with the previous arrangement.

Aaron Etingen, founder and executive chairman of GUS, said the acquisition adds an ‘asset of unique strategic value’.

He added: ‘The options review exercise will deliver us a blueprint for one of the most comprehensive private universities in Europe. ‘Having ULaw ultimately provide a governance and quality framework for GUS’ UK interests is a major benefit to us and will further enhance the impact of our work with students and employers alike.’

The announcement did not state how much the university was bought for, but it did say that the change of ownership will make ‘substantial additional capital’ available to help it grow, diversify and expand to new sites.

Former education secretary David Blunkett will chair the board of the university.

Earlier this month underlying ULaw profits climbed to £18.5m in the year to 31 July 2014, up from £14.1m in 2013. [Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette]