Korean private equity firm VIG Partners has reached an agreement to pay 165 billion won ($137.6 million) for a controlling stake in blended education service provider D.Share Co Ltd, according to an announcement.
The transaction, expected to close in early November, is the maiden investment made by VIG Partners’s latest fourth fund. It is also the first education investment announced by the buyout firm.
The firm said it was nearing the final close of Fund IV which is expected to exceed the initial target to more than 900 billion won (around $750 million). Fund IV’s predecessor had a corpus of $600 million.
VIG Partners told DealStreetAsia in May that it had secured a $530-million first close for the fourth fund.
D.Share, its first portfolio company, provides private English training sessions to high school students through customised online lectures and offline instructor-based programmes.
Largely known locally for its ‘3J Edu’ brand along with six other brands, D.Share currently manages 77 branches nationwide. The company posted 48.2 billion won in revenue and 17.9 billion won in operating income in 2018. Its topline is on track to grow over 50 per cent this year and exceed more than 70 billion won, VIG Partners said, adding that it will be focusing on helping D.Share recruit top-class talents and expand into new businesses.
“D.Share’s unique business model is unmatched by any other industry players in terms of its scalability and profitability,” commented Chulmin Lee, managing partner of VIG Partners.
English curriculum is one of only three subjects tested at the national college entrance exam level and is regarded as a critical subject in evaluating college applicants’ aptitude in Korea.