Investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (MSCP), the middle-market focused private equity team at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, have completed an investment in Emler Swim School (Emler or the Company). MSCP is partnering with the current management team and investor group led by Emler Chief Executive Officer Greg Laird and President and Chief Financial Officer Jim Draudt, who will continue to lead the business.
Headquartered in Dallas, Emler is a leading operator of swim schools in the United States. The company operates more than 38 locations in Texas, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, Wisconsin, Virginia and Massachusetts, and provides the essential, lifesaving service of teaching children how to swim. Through purpose-built facilities, the Company teaches an average of 30,000 students per week and offers a set of courses for swimmers across age groups, ranging from infants to five-year-olds and older. Emler has grown into a leading platform in the industry through strong organic growth and strategic acquisitions, having acquired more than 15 locations since 2017.
Greg Laird and Jim Draudt stated, “We are excited to partner with MSCP as we continue to build Emler into the premier swim school operator. We are proud to carry on the legacy of Jan Emler and to provide the highest quality swim instruction and water safety training to our families. This next phase of growth will enable Emler to expand access to these lifesaving services as we continue our mission to eliminate child drownings.”
David Thompson, Managing Director at MSCP, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Greg, Jim and the entire Emler team during an exciting period of growth. Emler has an exceptional culture and steadfast dedication to its mission. We’re honored to support the Company’s ambitious efforts to eradicate child drownings by providing access to high quality swim instruction across the United States.”
The MSCP team identified swim schools as a focus sector within the education vertical two years ago, and this investment represents a continuation of MSCP’s specific focus on multi-unit education and consumer services. MSCP intends to support Emler as it seeks to serve more communities through the acquisition of leading swim schools throughout the country and partner with them to invest in their businesses and support their employee bases.
Debevoise & Plimpton served as legal counsel to MSCP. Foley & Lardner served as legal counsel to Emler.
About Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, is a leading middle-market private equity platform that has invested capital in a broad spectrum of industries for over three decades. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners focuses on privately negotiated equity and equity-related investments primarily in North America and seeks to create value in portfolio companies primarily in a series of subsectors in the business services, consumer, healthcare, education and industrials markets with an emphasis on driving significant organic and acquisition growth through an operationally focused approach. For further information about Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im/capitalpartners.
About Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Morgan Stanley Investment Management, together with its investment advisory affiliates, has more than 1,200 investment professionals around the world and $1.3 trillion in assets under management or supervision as of September 30, 2022. Morgan Stanley Investment Management strives to provide outstanding long-term investment performance, service and a comprehensive suite of investment management solutions to a diverse client base, which includes governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide. For further information about Morgan Stanley Investment Management, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.
About Emler Swim School
Emler Swim School was founded in 1975 on two principles, that every child should experience a fun swim lesson that causes them to fall in love with the water, and that every parent should receive a guarantee that their child will learn to swim. Emler employs a proven, ever-evolving curriculum, a high-quality staff that undergoes thorough training and – above all – a passion to nurture children in a healthy, safe and fun environment. With more than 20 different classes and levels, the award-winning swim school is proud to meet the need of every swimmer with the same “Emler Sure,” 100 percent guarantee. For more information, please visit the Company’s website https://emlerswimschool.com.
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