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ACON Investments Acquires Grupo Formación Alcalá

July 7, 2021 GMT

MADRID, July 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Acon Southern Europe Management LLC through its affiliates (“ACON”) have completed the acquisition of a controlling equity interest in Formación Alcalá S.L. (“Formación Alcalá” or the “Company”), an e-learning platform focused on education and training for healthcare professionals in Spain and Latin America.

Formación Alcalá provides over 1,400 courses to over 30,000 healthcare professionals each year, who are seeking to upgrade skills, build credentials and/or apply for public employment in the healthcare system. The Company’s courses and content are accredited by top-tier Spanish universities and/or the Spanish Ministry of Health, which oversee quality, issue the diplomas and audit alumni performance.

Founded in 2000 in Spain by Rafael Ceballos, the Company has developed strong content capabilities across a broad range of healthcare practices and specialities. The courses include digital material, audio visual sessions, mock exams and tutor monitoring throughout the duration of the courses.


ACON will support the Company in the continued growth of its senior management team, the enhancement of digital marketing capabilities, rapid expansion in selected Latin American markets, where the Company is already present, and the development of complementary services, such as tests for post-graduate medical students/ young doctors preparing for medical exams in Spain. Mr. Ceballos will retain a significant stake in the Company.

The Company’s overall growth strategy will be led by Mr. Ceballos, as Executive Chairman, together with Rafael Martínez-Avial, the new CEO retained by ACON to drive this new chapter in the Company’s development. Prior to joining Formación Alcalá, Mr. Martínez-Avial gained extensive experience throughout the digital and omnichannel segments of Tiendanimal, a leading pet shop chain in Spain and Portugal, both domestically and internationally, including brand development, strategic marketing and senior-level management.

As part of its investment in the Company, ACON has partnered with SALT Venture Partners, headed up by Pete Pizarro, the former CEO of Ilumno Education, who brings a wealth of Ed-tech experience to the project. As a Board member and advisor to the Company, Mr. Pizarro will oversee the implementation of the Company´s business plan in the Americas.

Mr. Ceballos commented, “We were looking for a strong and knowledgeable partner to help us enhance the team’s capabilities to support accelerated growth and to reap all the upside potential the Company has in Spain and Latin America. Our aim is to offer top/premium quality content through a scalable technology platform, which results in an enhanced end-user experience to the healthcare professional community.”


“The adoption of online education & training is skyrocketing in Latin America. We have also observed a latent scarcity of qualified healthcare professionals in the industry, and that these professionals increasingly demand online training to upgrade their areas of expertise in order to advance professionally and provide improved healthcare services” said Mr. Pizarro.

Marcos Lladó, Managing Partner of ACON Southern Europe, added, “we are delighted to partner with Rafael Ceballos, the entrepreneur behind this unique platform in order to build a best-in-class management team led by Rafael Martínez-Avial. Future growth will be both organic and through follow-on acquisitions; at the same time fostering a brand equity that positions Formación Alcalá as the leader in on-line training for the healthcare sector, both in Spain and Latin America, where ACON already has an extensive presence.”

Consistent with ACON’s strategy of investing in medium-sized businesses in Europe, the United States and Latin America, this will be the fifth investment from its European-based affiliate in Madrid. Other ACON affiliated portfolio companies in Spain include Alsur, a producer, processor and distributor of premium preserved and canned vegetables; Contenur, a manufacturer of large format containers for the waste management industry, and Germaine de Capuccini, a leading professional cosmetics brand that exports to more than 80 countries.

Hogan Lovells and KPMG advised ACON, together with Cairneagle, a consulting firm specialized in the Education & Training, Media and Technology sectors.

Formación Alcalá was exclusively advised by DC Advisory as M&A advisor, PwC and Garrigues, as legal counsel.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About the Equity Sponsor

ACON Investments, L.L.C. is a Washington, DC-based international private equity investment firm that manages private equity funds and special purpose partnerships that make investments in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Founded in 1996, ACON has responsibility for managing approximately $6.0 billion of capital. ACON has professionals in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo, Bogotá and Madrid. For more information, visit www.aconinvestments.com.


Marcos Lladó

ACON Southern Europe Advisory, S.L.

+34 616 415 599

Jose Miguel Knoell

ACON Latam Management, LLC

+1 (202) 454 1113

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SOURCE ACON Investments, L.L.C.