Back to list

Rise Fund buys Malaysian university from KV Asia

20th February,

The Rise Fund, TPG’s global impact investment platform, has agreed toacquire a controlling stake in Malaysia-based Asia Pacific University ofTechnology and Innovation (APU) from KV Asia.


The size of the transaction was not disclosed. Mergermarket, AVCJ’s sister title, reported lastAugust that KV Asia had begun a sale process for its entire portfolio of tertiary education assets,with an estimated enterprise value of USD 300m-USD 400m. Rothschild was mandated to runthe process in January 2022, but it was delayed in part because of COVID-19.

The APU transaction features co-investments, including Malaysian pension funds KWAP and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), according to a statement.

Founded in 1993, APU is a private university that looks to provide high-quality, affordable, and internationally recognised education and research for local and overseas students. It serves a student community of about 13,000 representing more than 130 countries and claims a 100%employability rate for graduates.

APU represents the largest of several education assets – originally known as APIIT Education Group, but now referred to as Asia Pacific Education Holdings – that KV Asia acquired in early 2018. It represented the private equity firm’s largest-ever buyout, with an enterprise value of approximately USD 180m, and featured a sizeable co-investment contribution.

In addition to APU, the portfolio included Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT)and Asia Pacific Schools, a K-12 education provider. Asia Pacific Schools was divested toPartners Group-owned International Schools Partnership in 2019.

Ekuinas, another Malaysian pension fund, acquired a 51% stake in APU and APIIT in 2011 forMYR 102m (USD 23m) and
bought out the remaining interest – plus related assets – for MYR247m in 2016. It consolidated the businesses under ILMU Education Group with a view to pursuing an IPO but subsequently opted to sell off the assets piece by piece.

KV Asia made the investment from its debut fund, which closed on USD 263m in 2013. The firm is currently in the market with Fund II, reaching a first close of USD 100m in mid-2021 against a target of USD 300m. The target has since been revised downwards to USD 225m, Mergermarket reported.

APU represents The Rise Fund’s second education investment in Malaysia, following the MYR1.35bn purchase of
International Medical University, announced in June 2022. This was a joint deal with local conglomerate Hong Leong Group, which previously worked with TPG on the acquisition of a portfolio of Southeast Asia hospital assets from Columbia Pacific Management.

The first iteration of The Rise Fund closed at USD 2bn in 2017. A second vehicle launched with a target of USD 2.5bn and a final close has yet to be announced. Total assets under the broader TPG Rise platform – which also includes TPG Rise Climate and Evercare Health Fund – amount to USD 16bn.