Hospitality and culinary HE group expands across South Africa

Sommet Education, owner of Ecole Ducasse and the Glion Institute, has acquired a majority stake in the South African Invictus Education Group

Sommet Education, the global higher education hospitality and culinary arts schools group with campuses in Switzerland, France, Spain, UK and China, has acquired a majority stake in South African private education operator Invictus Education Group.

The deal brings the number of Sommet Education institutions from nine to 17.

Sommet Education is the group behind such famed institutions as Parisian culinary and pastry arts mecca École Ducasse, which it acquired in 2019, and elite hospitality schools the Glion Institute of Higher Education, which has campuses in London and Switzerland, and Les Roches, based in Switzerland, Spain and China. The Glion Institute and Les Roches were named elected second and third in the world respectively by employers in the QS World University Rankings 2021.

Sommet Education CEO Benoît-Etienne Domenget © Thierry Arensma

The signing marks the start of Sommet Education’s rapid expansion plan for South Africa and further pan-African developments.

Together, Sommet Education and the Invictus Education Group plan to develop additional campuses for Invictus’s International Hotel School brand, the first due to open in in Benoni, South Africa, in July this year. It will be followed in 2022 by other campuses in South Africa: Nelspruit, Potchefstroom, Port Elisabeth and Pretoria. Ambitious developments are also targeted for Africa, with a first campus opening in Kenya already scheduled for 2023.

“Invictus Education Group is an amazing success story in the African education landscape,” said Benoît-Etienne Domenget, CEO of Sommet Education. “With a 25-year history on the continent, a diverse portfolio of hospitality education institutions, a very strong digital program portfolio, a highly experienced team and a robust management, a national footprint and strong pipeline, Invictus has the potential to further carry all our ambitions in the region and beyond.”

Mike Lambert, Invictus founder and CEO, explained: “Sommet Education is the international partner we needed to support our vision and expansion plan. This alliance also means that we will be able to provide our students with access to a worldwide network of alumni and industry partners with diversified learning paths and careers, with even more opportunity to learn and thrive internationally.”

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