Keppel raises more than half of education asset fund’s $500m target

Photo: Reuters

Keppel Capital Alternative Asset, the alternative asset subsidiary of Keppel Capital Holdings, announced that it has already raised more than half of the $500-million target for Keppel Education Asset Fund.

Keppel Education is a closed-end private equity fund that seeks to invest in Asia’s private education sector. Its investors include a sovereign wealth fund, an endowment fund, and a family office, according to Keppel’s announcement.

When fully leveraged and invested in private education-related real estate in the Asia Pacific region, the fund is expected to have assets under management of approximately $1.2 billion.

According to Keppel, the fund aims to build a balanced portfolio of brownfield and greenfield assets in different education sub-sectors, including the early learning and K12 segments, higher education and tertiary institutions, and on-campus accommodation.

The education fund’s first acquisition was a 70-per cent stake in premium bilingual K12 school property operated by Malvern College Chengdu located in Sichuan Province, China.

Malvern College (Asia) co-founder and chief executive Jacqueline So said the partnership will support the school’s overseas expansion plans.

The fund is also negotiating deals for education-related properties located in Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Asia’s private education industry is a resilient and fast-growing sector supported by macrotrends, such as rapid urbanisation, an expanding middle class, and increasing focus on education, among others, said Keppel Capital CEO Christina Tan.

“Education assets offer investors attractive risk-adjusted returns, with potential downside risks protected by established tenants and long leases,” Tan said.

The fund, she added, continues to attract investors despite the pandemic, reflecting the confidence in and demand for this defensive asset class.

The fund manager, Keppel Capital Alternative Asset, was launched in 2019 with the focus of managing private funds investing in new alternative asset classes including infrastructure, senior living, and education.

Its parent firm, Keep Capital, has assets under management of approximately S$33 billion ($24 billion) as of end-2019. Its portfolio includes real estate, infrastructure, and data centre assets in key global markets.

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.

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.