PHINMA Education Holdings Inc., the education arm of conglomerate Phinma Corp., has partnered with private equity firm Kaizen Private Equity, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to further support its vision of making lives better through education for students from low-income families.
The partnership would enable Kaizen Private Equity and ADB to collectively subscribe to a total of P1.625 billion ($32.5 million) worth of newly issued shares, equivalent to a 20.28-percent minority stake in Phinma Education.
Phinma Corp. CEO and President Ramon del Rosario shared his excitement over the new partnership.
He said, “We are grateful to have partners who believe in our mission with our continued expansion in the education services sector. It has always been about serving the marginal in society—the children of farmers, policemen, public school teachers and other government workers, of pedicab drivers, street vendors and manual laborers.”
He cited the experience of the consortium in identifying various opportunities critical to the growth and development of Phinma Education both in the Philippines and abroad.
“This is clearly a boost for us in achieving our planned expansion. As we partner with these established firms, we aim to further our efforts in providing the best opportunities through accessible, quality education with our regionwide network of institutions,” del Rosario said.
Phinma Corp. started investing in the education services sector in 2004 through the acquisition of Araullo University in Nueva Ecija. At present, it has expanded its presence across the country with its network of schools including Cagayan de Oro College in Misamis Oriental, University of Pangasinan in Pangasinan, University of Iloilo in Iloilo, Southwestern University in Cebu City, and its latest acquisition, Saint Jude College in Metro Manila. It has also established its presence abroad in 2016 with its first overseas learning institution in Myanmar through the Phinma Training Center (PTC).
Since its founding in 2004, Phinma Education has been among the fastest-growing network of schools in the Philippines with a total enrollment of 70,000 students and recorded revenues of P2 billion in school year 2017-2018.
Kaizen Private Equity is Asia’s first and only education focused private equity fund based in India and Singapore. Its investments are scattered in emerging countries in South and Southeast Asia. Other than Singapore, Kaizen also has presence in Mumbai, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City.
Sandeep Aneja, founder and managing partner of Kaizen, said, “We are excited to partner with Phinma Education. The success of Phinma in providing affordable and job-oriented education in the Philippines has been known to us for a while and today it is our honor to become part of their future journey. We believe that Phinma apart from expanding its presence in the Philippines, will be able to extend its offerings to other countries in the region.”
Michael Barrow, director general of the Private Sector Operations Department at the Asian Development Bank, added, “We are pleased to work with Phinma Education Holdings to make quality tertiary education more accessible and equitable. Such private-sector partnerships complement the government of Philippines’s long-term vision to accelerate human-capital development and improve the income-earning potential of its people.”
Earlier this year, Phinma Education also disclosed its joint-venture agreement with Indonesian group Tripersada Global Manajemen to form PT Ind Phil Management with approximately $8-million total investment from both parties. IPM will manage tertiary institutions for Yayasan Triputra Persada Horizon Education in Indonesia.
With Phinma Education’s entry in Indonesia, it aims to serve low-to middle-income markets with special focus on nursing education where it has a proven track record in the Philippines. The first school to be managed under IPM is Kharisma Karawang in West Java with a population of 1,200 students.
Maybank ATR Kim Eng Capital Partners Inc. served as the sole financial adviser for this partnership.