Vietnamese realty major Vingroup forays into higher education space

Source photo from Vinschool's website

Marking its presence in one of the fast-growing and investment-savvy spaces, Vietnam’s leading property developer Vingroup is foraying into the higher education space with the launch of VinUni (Vin University).

In a statement, Vingroup announced it will implement strategic cooperation with Ivy League universities including Cornell and Pennsylvania for its entry into the new vertical. The firm targets to complete its campus development in the next two years.

Vingroup entered into the education space with Vinschool in 2012. It has also expanded into other major sectors such as retail and healthcare.

The project’s investment capital has not yet been disclosed. However, local media earlier reported that Vingroup would invest more than VND5 trillion ($219.5 million) to build two universities, Vinmec Medical College and VinUni.

According to the consolidated financial statement for the fourth quarter of 2017, Vingroup’s total consolidated revenue reached VND90.3 trillion ($3.9 billion), up 56.8 per cent compared to 2016. The group’s pre-tax profit stood at VND8.9 trillion ($390 million), up 53.9 per cent year-on-year.

Vingroup’s revenue from educational field stood at VND346.4 billion ($15.2 million) in the fourth quarter 2017, much higher than the same period last year at VND196.1 billion ($8.6 million).

The education sector in the country has attracted a lot of investor interest. Global alternative asset firm TPG last year entered into a definitive agreement with the shareholders of Vietnam Australia International School to become a majority owner.

Mekong Capital in 2017 also made the sixth investment from its Mekong Enterprise Fund III, funneling $4.9 million for a minority stake in education firm YOLA Joint Stock Company, becoming the first institutional investor in YOLA.

Meanwhile, private equity firm EQT Capital Partners also invested an undisclosed amount in a group which owns Vietnam’s English Language Training (ELT) company ILA Vietnam which was put up for sale late 2016 with the owners seeking about $150 million at that time.

As estimated by a recent educational organization, Vietnamese spend about $ 3 billion a year on overseas study and this number has grown rapidly over the years.

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