Aspire Education acquires WEKA Group’s Education division

Aspire Education acquires WEKA Group’s Education division

Aspire Education Group (“Aspire Education”), a privately operated education group in the German-speaking region majority-owned by EMZ Partners, continues to grow. Contracts were signed to acquire five WEKA Group companies in Switzerland and Germany (“WEKA Education”), expected to be effective on 30 September 2023. The combination enables a significant expansion of the two groups’ offerings, both geographically and in terms of courses, and sets the foundation for leveraging synergies including further optimization of course offerings for participants. The acquisition marks a significant and transformative milestone in the strategic development of Aspire Education.

Johannes Lampert and Udo Schelkes, co-CEOs of Aspire Education, emphasize: “We are very pleased to quickly implement the growth strategy announced at the time of the acquisition by EMZ in December with such a significant step. The complementary educational activities of WEKA Education in Switzerland and Germany are a perfect fit, also in terms of quality standards. The two portfolios complement each other very well and enable us to accompany our learners even better on their educational journey.”

Klaus Maurer, Senior Partner at EMZ adds: “The combination of the Aspire Group with the activities of the WEKA Group creates a leading educational group with a focus on adult education in the DACH region. We are pleased to help shape this development as co-shareholder and partner of the management team.”

Stephan Bernhard, CEO of WEKA Education adds: “We are delighted to become part of the Aspire Education Group, with whom we share the same values as well as a complementary offering. It will be a great pleasure to further develop the extensive education offering in the DACH region with shared ideas, resources and formats. The WEKA Education division focuses strongly on B2B target groups, which we want to further expand together. The newly established group lays the foundation for a significant further development step.”

Aspire Education was advised by Latham & Watkins (Legal, Corporate and Structure), NKF (Legal, Corporate), goetzpartners (Commercial), PwC (Financial, Tax), Houlihan Lokey (M&A, Debt Advisory) as well as Goodwin Procter (Legal, Financial).


About Aspire Education

Aspire Education was founded in 2014 via the merger of ibis acam, Stepin and ARS and is one of the major private players in the education sector with activities in the B2P as well as the B2B/B2C market in Austria and Germany. In 2018, the portfolio was further expanded with ETC; in 2022, the company entered the German B2B and B2P market with the acquisition of brainymotion.

Aspire Education operates more than 80 locations in Austria and Germany and employs approximately 1,200 people. The educational offering includes career guidance and job application coaching, IT training, specialist seminars for experts and student exchange programs. In recent years, the Group has consistently increased its level of digitalization and offers both online and face-to-face/hybrid educational sessions. In addition, Aspire Education is a pioneer in the Austrian hire-train-deploy market, helping both job seekers find the right job and companies train their potential employees.


About WEKA Education

WEKA Education consists of five media and continuing education companies with locations in Switzerland and Germany. WEKA Business Media AG in Zurich is the first Swiss provider of specialised continuing education and practical specialist information for professionals and executives. Lernwerkstatt in Olten is the market leader for adult education in Switzerland. The Coach Academy Switzerland in Rebstein operates a comprehensive coaching program based on the St. Gallen coaching model in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Zentrum für Unternehmungsführung in Zurich has a strong reputation for selected top management seminars and courses. The WEKA Academy in Wiesbaden is an established provider of continuing education for specialists and managers of medium-sized companies. The companies’ offerings range from one-day seminars and congresses to certified training courses leading to recognized diplomas. All companies are among the leading institutes in their respective target groups.


About EMZ

EMZ is a leading European investment firm, acting as a true partner to medium-sized companies. The focus of EMZ’ activities lies on investments alongside founders, family shareholders and managers. The core of the EMZ philosophy is a significant reinvestment of the management team in order to create an aligned shareholder partnership. EMZ is majority-owned by its own employees and has a base of European institutional investors. The current fund has a volume of more than €1.2 billion and its investment size ranges from €30 to €200 million.