Keppel Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd. (Keppel Capital), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Capital Alternative Asset Pte. Ltd. (Keppel Capital Alternative Asset), has raised more than half of its target commitments for its US$500 million Keppel Education Asset Fund, a closed-end private equity fund.
The fund, managed by Keppel Capital Alternative Asset, will focus on the fast-growing private education sector in Asia Pacific. The fund intends to partner established school operators to invest in private education-related real estate in the Asia Pacific region.
”It aims to build a balanced portfolio of stable, as well as brownfield and greenfield assets in different education sub-sectors, including the early learning and kindergarten to 12th grade (K12) segments, higher education and tertiary institutions, as well as on-campus accommodation,” says Keppel Capital. ”When fully leveraged and invested, the fund is expected to have assets under management of approximately US$1.2 billion.”
As its first real estate investment, the fund has acquired a 70% stake in a premium bilingual K12 school property operated by Malvern College Chengdu, located in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Other education-related assets in the fund’s deal pipeline include properties located in Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
‘Education assets offer investors attractive risk-adjusted returns, with potential downside risks protected by established tenants and long leases.‘
“The private education industry is a resilient and fast-growing sector in Asia Pacific, supported by macrotrends including rapid urbanisation, an expanding middle class and rising affluence, increasing focus on education as well as supportive government policies. Through the Keppel Education Asset Fund, we will work with established operators to capitalise on the opportunities in the private education sector in Asia Pacific and support their expansion plans as they scale up in the region. Education assets offer investors attractive risk-adjusted returns, with potential downside risks protected by established tenants and long leases. The reception to the Fund despite the pandemic reflects investors’ confidence in and demand for this defensive asset class, as well as Keppel’s capabilities,” said Christina Tan, CEO of Keppel Capital.
Jacqueline So, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Malvern College (Asia), said, “We are delighted to partner with Keppel, which has a strong track record in Asia Pacific and in-depth expertise in real estate development, investment, as well as fund and asset management.”