Former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead founded Cognita in 2004 with backing from Bregal Capital. Through acquisitions, the firm now comprises 54 private junior and senior schools. The majority are in Britain, but it has been expanding internationally since 2006. It has 11 overseas schools – in Spain, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – and has plans to acquire more. Under chief executive Rees Withers, international sales have increased 32% a year, from £35.5m in 2009 to £62.2m in 2011.
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