Ekuinas divests entire stake in tertiary education provider APIIT Lanka

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 17, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) is divesting its entire equity interest, together with its minority partners, in private tertiary education provider APIIT Lanka Pvt Ltd, based on an enterprise value of about RM41 million, to BG Investments Pte Ltd.

In a statement yesterday, Ekuinas said BG Investments is a Sri Lanka-based investor with exposure to industries such as financial services, marine, education and healthcare.

Ekuinas chief executive officer Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir said the company’s decision to divest APIIT Lanka is in line with its investment strategy to crystallise its assets when the time is right and find the right partner for the assets.

“With BG Investments, we are confident that with their local knowledge, expertise and resources, we see them as the right owners who will be able to take APIIT Lanka through its next growth phase,” he said.

Established in 2000, APIIT Lanka is an international collaboration between the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APIIT) in Malaysia and Expolanka Holdings PLC, with links to a wide range of reputable universities in the UK and Australia.

Since its establishment, APIIT Lanka has grown steadily and produced close to 2,000 graduates.

According to Syed Yasir Arafat, APIIT Lanka has contributed to one of Ekuinas’ key achievements — the opening of a new satellite campus in Kandy, Sri Lanka — giving APIIT Lanka the platform to scale its business by growing the number of programmes offered and tapping into a new market.

“We are pleased to report that the divestment generated a gross internal rate of return of 17.5% and a money multiple of 2.2 times the capital invested.

“This will bring Ekuinas’ total realisation proceeds to more than RM2.7 billion,” he added.