**GEMS Education, one of the biggest private school operators, is preparing a listing on the LSE this year according to reports in the Financial Times. The report adds that **

GEMS Education has its headquarters in Dubai, but boasts schools around the world, including five in the UK. It is currently owned by Fajr Capital, US-based Blackstone and the Bahraini state investment fund Mumtalakat.

According to reports from Reuters, GEMS Education has selected JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, though none of the banks have commented on the story so far.

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The price per share and the size of the float have not yet been confirmed, but apparently the IPO could value the company at between $4.5bn to $5bn (£3.7bn).

The company takes its acronym from its original name, Global Education Management Systems, and was founded in 1959 by Indian-born teachers KS and Mariama Varkey, who began tutoring in Dubai.

It expanded rapidly in the 1960s and now boasts schools in fourteen different countries across the globe.