GEMS World Academy Singapore has been acquired by a private equity-backed operator recently launched by a former Cognita executive.

Singapore-based XCL Education, a Southeast Asian K12 operator bankrolled by TPG Capital, the US private equity firm, has taken over GEMS World Academy Singapore, EducationInvestor Global can confirm.

XCL Education is headed up by Brian Rogove, former Asia-Pacific chief executive of Cognita, one of the world’s largest private school operators.

Rogove confirmed the transaction when contacted for comment by this publication, but beyond that had “nothing more to add right now”.

GEMS World Academy was launched in Singapore in 2014 by GEMS Education, the Dubai-headquartered private schooling giant owned by CVC Capital Partners, Europe’s largest buyout group.

The school caters to more than 900 students, according to

The price at which the institution traded is unclear.

Rogove led Cognita’s Asia-Pacific operations for eight years, from 2008 to 2016, before launching A-Star-Education, of which he was chief executive until January 2020. A-Star was the holding company for Wall Street English Vietnam, which was financed by Verlinvest before it was sold to London-listed Myanmar Strategic Holdings last May.

Rogove has a mandate from TPG to create a sizeable platform of low-to-mid-cost private schools across Southeast Asia on behalf of TPG Capital, the former owner of Times Higher Education and TES Global.

According to Rogove’s LinkedIn profile, XCL Education has enrolled nearly 30,000 students across the continent.

One source described Rogove as a “very savvy investor” with deep experience in Asia’s private school market.

Date published: 7 January 2021

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