Navis Capital-backed Malaysian education firm SEG mulls stake sale

Owners of SEG International Bhd. are considering selling their stakes in the Malaysian private tertiary education group, according to people familiar with the matter.

Navis Capital Partners Ltd., an Asia-focused private-equity firm, and SEG International’s managing director Clement Hii, have held preliminary discussions with potential advisers, the people said. The asset has drawn some interests from potential suitors including Chinese companies, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

“There have been some inquiries from interested parties,” Hii said in an emailed response to Bloomberg query. “While we’re open to possibilities, there hasn’t been concrete discussions on this matter at the moment.”

Deliberations are at an early stage and there’s no certainty the owners will proceed with a transaction, the people said. Navis Capital declined to comment.

While a sale could come as the growing affluent families in Asia drives demand for private education and overseas study, the political uncertainty in Malaysia and the novel coronavirus outbreak could weigh on the plan. Navis Capital is the biggest shareholder with about 37% stake in SEG, followed by Clement Hii’s 32%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of SEG have dropped 2.4% in the past year, giving the company a market value of about 774 million ringgit ($183 million).

SEG International, based in Kuala Lumpur since 1977, owns and runs five SEGi universities and colleges across Malaysia, serving 25,000 students, according to its website. The company also collaborates with overseas universities on twinning programs and plans to introduce part-time executive diploma programs as well as bachelor and master degrees.

Bloomberg

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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).

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  • 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.