KKR invests in PH higher education group PHINMA

KKR invests in PH higher education group PHINMA

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Private equity major KKR has agreed to invest in PHINMA Education, a higher education group based in the Philippines, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

KKR is investing from its Global Impact Fund II, a vehicle that targets companies that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. KKR said PHINMA’s mission directly contributes to SDG 4 (Quality Education).

The announcement did not provide financial details of the transaction but PHINMA Corporation, in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, said PHINMA Education will issue new shares worth P4.5 billion ($77 million).

It added that KKR also agreed to acquire all the shares owned, directly or indirectly, by Asian Development Bank, FMO, and Kaizen Private Equity II. The said investors entered PHINMA Education in 2019.

Following the completion of the primary and secondary transactions, the funds managed by KKR and Kaizenvest III will respectively own, directly or indirectly, a 30.67% and 3.73% stake in the company.

Meanwhile, ADB, FMO, and Kaizen Private Equity II will no longer be, directly or indirectly, shareholders of the company. PHINMA Corporation, which currently holds a 75.01% share in the company, will continue to be the majority shareholder of PHINMA Education.

Under the investment agreement, KKR will be entitled to three members of the board out of the 11 directors of PHINMA Education.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024, subject to the approval of the Philippine Competition Commission, per the announcement.

Dr. Chito B. Salazar, President and CEO of PHINMA Education, said KKR’s investment will support the company’s ability to scale its system and enter new markets, among others.

“While our network has grown significantly over time, there continues to be so many more prospective students to reach, existing students to help keep in school and so much more to do to make college education more accessible to those who need it most,” Salazar said.

PHINMA Education started in 2004 with a single school serving 5,000 students. It is now a fast-growing network of 10 educational institutions, including nine in the Philippines and one in Indonesia, serving over 150,000 students.

“We will look to leverage KKR’s deep experience investing in education companies globally to support the management team’s vision to scale the company and become a leading education platform across Southeast Asia,” said George Aitken, Managing Director and Head of Global Impact for Asia Pacific at KKR.

PHINMA Education is the latest addition to KKR Global Impact’s portfolio of education and workforce companies.

Its investments in these sectors include Vietnam education group EQuest Education; Australia and New Zealand learning, assessment, and analytics platform Education Perfect; graduation and employment assistance provider Graduation Alliance; US-based labour market analytics software provider Lightcast; and European vocational education provider Master Distancia.

Edited by: Joymitra Rai

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