KV Asia mulls $350m sale of Malaysian tertiary education unit: Report

Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm KV Asia is said to be weighing the sale of its tertiary school portfolio Asia Pacific Education Holdings (APEH) in a deal worth $350 million, Bloomberg reported.

KV Asia is understood to have roped in a financial adviser on the potential exit, the report added.

DealStreetAsia has reached out to KV Asia for a comment.

Earlier in May 2019, KV Asia sold Asia Pacific School, the K-12 education unit of APEH, to the International Schools Partnerships.

The PE firm had acquired all shares of APEH at an enterprise value of 725 million ringgit ($169.3 million) from government-linked private equity fund manager Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Ekuinas) in 2018.

APEH currently consists of two institutions of higher learning – Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) and Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT).

The two campuses currently have over 10,000 students, according to KV Asia’s website.

The PE firm is raising its $300-million second fund, with a final close expected to occur this year.

Earlier this month, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) proposed to invest up to $25 million in the vehicle, KV Asia Capital Fund II.

The fund was said to target investments with a ticket size of $20-100 million in buyout and control transactions in mid-cap companies across Southeast Asia.

Its predecessor vehicle, which closed in late 2013, had exceeded its $250 million target after garnering commitments from pension funds, endowments, financial institutions, fund of funds, and family offices.

KV Asia was founded in 2010 by Karam Butalia, the former global head of Standard Chartered Private Equity (now Affirma Capital), and Vibhav Panandiker, previously of Standard Chartered Private Equity and JP Morgan Private Capital Asia.

The firm has recently reportedly invested in Malaysia-based glove manufacturer GB Industries Sdn Bhd. An earlier deal was in Indonesia-listed personal care brand Victoria Care in October 2021.

DealStreetAsia reported earlier that KV Asia was pursuing a sale process for Malaysian supplement maker DXN Holdings Bhd, while it had exited Malaysian hypermarket TF Value-Mart in 2020, and Singapore’s Orange Valley Healthcare and Aalst Chocolate in 2017.

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