Malaysia’s Equinas sells APIIT for $180m in KV Asia-backed management buyout

Image taken from Ekuinas website.

Malaysia’s state-owned private equity firm Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) has divested its entire stake in local education company APIIT Education Group for $180 million to a joint venture vehicle owned by its existing management team and private equity firm KV Asia Capital.

APIIT Group comprises Asia Pacific Schools (APS), Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) and Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) that offers primary, secondary and tertiary education.

“APIIT Group was invested across two funds. With this divestment, it will allow Ekuinas to recoup its cost of investment and generate a positive blended Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 22.3 per cent and money multiple of 1.6 times the capital invested, including dividends received,” Ekuinas CEO Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Malaysia and Indonesia, KV Asia Capital focuses on making equity investments in mid-sized companies across Southeast Asia. The PE firm counts Orange Valley Healthcare, Aalst Chocolate, TF Value-Mart and DXN Holdings among its portfolio firms.

“KV Asia Capital intends to work closely with management in their efforts to enhance student experience and outcomes and to grow the number of students,” it said in a separate announcement.

Ekuinas had invested in APIIT in 2011, buying a 51 per cent stake from Sapura Resources Bhd and in 2016 took over the remaining 49 per cent. Last year, APU launched its state-of-the-art campus in Technology Park Malaysia as part of a value creation plan for the group.

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

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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.