Acon Southern Europe Management LLC and its affiliates (“ACON”) have completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Formación Alcalá SL, the Alcalaine company of distance education specialized in health and social sciences.
ACON will support the Company in strengthening of its management team, improvement of its capabilities in digital marketing, rapid expansion in Latin American markets, where the company is already present, and the development of complementary services, such as postgraduate competitions in preparation for specialty exams in Spain. Rafael Ceballos Atienza, its founder, will retain a significant stake in the Company’s shareholders.
The Company’s growth strategy will be led by Mr. Ceballos, as Executive President, together with Rafael Martínez-Avial Romero, the new CEO selected by ACON to promote this new chapter in the Company’s development. Before joining the Alcalá Formation, Mr. Martínez-Avial developed an extensive career in the digital world, and in his latest project, he carried out the expansion of a recognized firm with a presence in Iberia, France and Italy and its conversion into omnichannel business, including brand development, strategic marketing and management of executive teams, finally integrating it into a leading group of reference in its product category at an international level.
As part of the investment in the Company, ACON has partnered with SALT Venture Partners, led by Pete Pizarro, former CEO of Ilumno Education, who brings a wealth of experience in the Edtech sector to the project. As a member of the Company’s Board and advisor, Mr. Pizarro will oversee the implementation of the Company’s business plan in America.
“At ACON we have found a highly sensitive partner with the health education sector, committed to the needs of its professionals, technologies and with proven experience, to help us reinforce and complement the team’s skills and efficiently accelerate growth and boost the Company’s potential in Spain and Latin America. Our goal is to continue offering premium quality programs through an advanced and scalable technological platform and, consequently, an improved user experience for the community of health professionals and the social sector ”, explains Rafael Ceballos.
For his part, Pete Pizarro comments: “The adoption of online training and education is growing considerably in Latin America. We have also observed a lack of qualified health professionals in certain sectors, and that these professionals increasingly demand online training and complementary services to improve specific areas of knowledge in order to improve and progress professionally and to be able to offer better health services ”.
Marcos Lladó, Managing Partner of ACON Southern Europe, assures that they are “delighted” to partner with Rafael Ceballos, “the entrepreneur behind this unique platform, to develop the best management team possible, led by Rafael Martínez-Avial”. “Future growth will be both organic and through successive acquisitions, while promoting a brand image that positions Formación Alcalá as a reference leader in the online training sector for the health and social sector, both in Spain and abroad. Latin America, where ACON already has an extensive presence. “
In line with ACON’s mid-market strategy in Europe, the United States and Latin America, Formación Alcalá is the fifth investment of the European team based in Madrid. ACON has in its portfolio other investees such as Alsur, producer and distributor of packaged vegetable products; Contenur, manufacturer of large-format containers for waste management and Germaine de Capuccini, the leading cosmetic brand in the professional channel in Spain, with sales in more than 80 countries.
Hogan Lovells and KPMG advised ACON, along with Cairneagle, a consulting firm specializing in the education, media and technology sectors. Formation Alcalá has been advised by DC Advisory, exclusive advisor to the sale, PwC and Garrigues, as legal advisers. Terms of the transaction have not been made public.
About Alcalá Formation
Formation Alcalá offers a catalog of more than 1,800 courses and 300 masters to more than 33,000 health professionals each year, who seek to improve their skills, update themselves, develop valid credentials in public employment positions within the health and social sector.
The programs and content offered by the Company are accredited by top-level Spanish universities and / or by the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, which supervise quality, monitor student follow-up and issue diplomas.
Founded in 2000 by Rafael Ceballos Atienza, the company has developed solid competencies in content development across a wide range of specialties. The programs include digital content and material, audiovisual sessions, mock exams and supervision by tutors throughout their duration.
About ACON Investments
ACON Investments, LLC is an international private equity investment firm based in Washington, DC that invests in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1996, ACON has approximately $ 6 billion under management. ACON has professionals in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo, Bogotá and Madrid.