Advantage Partners acquires niche education groups in Japan

Japanese private equity firm Advantage Partners has acquired two education groups in Japan, Abitus Inc and Tokyo Central Japanese Language School (TCJ).

Abitus, founded in 1995, is a vocational education firm providing qualification training in various overseas certifications, such as the US Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Internal Auditor certifications, as well as an MBA programme accredited by the University of Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, TCJ was founded earlier in 1988 and operates Japanese language schools for foreigners and training for Japanese language teachers.

Advantage Partners said Toyoaki Miwa, founder of Abitus, remains as shareholder and board member of both companies.

“AP Funds believe that this group of companies possesses significant growth potential as a result of providing services that contribute the careers of global-oriented professionals who are anticipated to continue to rise in demand going forward,” the private equity firm said in a statement.

Abitus and TCJ are focused on the niche sectors in education with high barriers to entry but boasting ample prospects for future growth, it added.

Abitus has a strong relationship with the overseas certifying organisations that it provides accreditation for and offers a differentiated learning experience through small class sizes and study materials designed for mobile devices. TCJ also possesses inherent competitive advantages because of its strong relationships with overseas recruitment agents and reputation for its students’ high-level academic achievement.

Advantage Partners said it will work with the companies to accelerate their growth through initiatives including introducing adaptive learning techniques, enhancing the content offered and improving marketing initiatives.

The Japanese investor has continued its buying spree in 2019 year-to-date, having acquired Japanese staffing firm Material Group, Vietnamese women fashion retailer Elise and EKO Grp Industries, a Malaysian company specialising in aluminum and zinc die casting.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.