Malaysia’s Ekuinas exits education provider APIIT Lanka, clocks 17.5% gross IRR

Ekuinas CEO Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir speaks at DealStreetAsia's Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Malaysia’s state-linked private equity firm Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) has divested its entire equity interest in APIIT Lanka, a private tertiary education provider in Sri Lanka, to BG Investments, it said in a statement.

Ekuinas said Sri Lanka-headquartered BG Investments has acquired its entire equity interest, together with its minority partners, in the education provider for approximately 41 million ringgit ($10 million).

BG Investments has exposure in industries such as financial services, marine, education, and healthcare.

“Ekuinas’ decision to divest APIIT Lanka is in line with its investment strategy to crystallise its assets when the time is right, as well as finding the right partner for the assets,” said Ekuinas CEO Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir.

The divestment generated a Gross Internal Rate Return (IRR) of 17.5 per cent and a money multiple of 2.2 times the capital invested. This will bring Ekuinas’ total realisation proceeds to more than 2.7 billion ringgit, Syed Yasir Arafat said.

APIIT Lanka, established in 2000, was an international collaboration between Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APIIT) in Malaysia and ExpoLanka Holdings PLC, with links to a wide range of reputable universities in the UK and Australia. It has produced close to 2,000 graduates since its inception.

“With BG Investments, we are confident that with their local knowledge, expertise, and resources, we see them as the right owners who will be able to take APIIT Lanka through their next growth phase,” Syed Yasir Arafat added.

The divestment came more than a year after Ekuinas sold its entire stake in Malaysian education company APIIT Education Group for $180 million to a joint venture vehicle owned by its existing management 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.

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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.