As part of this transaction, two private equity funds, Mekong Enterprise Fund II and MAJ Invest, will fully divest their holdings in Vietnam Australia International School (VAS). Founder Pham Tan Nghia will continue as a VAS shareholder after TPG’s investment is closed.
Leveraging TPG’s expertise in Asia and in the education sector, VAS will continue to expand its campuses, improve the quality of its programmes, and further develop its staff to remain the market leader in the bilingual K-12 education segment in Vietnam.
TPG is a leading global alternative asset firm with more than $74 billion of assets under management. TPG Capital Asia is the dedicated Asia platform for TPG, with investment professionals in Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Mumbai, Seoul, and Singapore, managing more than $6 billion in assets.
As one of the first private equity firms to invest in Asia, some of TPG Capital Asia’s past and current investments include 8990 Holdings, Cushman & Wakefield, Healthscope, HCP Packaging, Janalakshmi Financial Services, Lenovo, Myer, PropertyGuru, Union Bank of Colombo, and Wharf T&T.
Across platforms, TPG’s past and current investments in Vietnam include Proconco, Masan Group, and FPT Corporation.
“VAS is a business that is uniquely adapted to the Vietnamese market. Its innovative educational model responds to the needs and preferences of the expanding middle-class, and it has a strong brand with great potential for growth,” said Dominic Picone, managing director of TPG Asia.
“VAS is a good example of the type of creative investment opportunities we look for in Southeast Asia, and we believe the business will thrive in partnership with TPG.”
VAS has more than 6,300 students across seven campuses in Ho Chi Minh City – a steep increase from the 2004 school year, when it had 400 students.
It is now the largest private K-12 education group in Vietnam. The school system’s growth has thrived since it introduced the Cambridge International Curriculum, which has led to an increase from 4,100 students in 2014 to its current total.
With investments in new buildings and facilities such as the newly-opened Garden Hills campus and planned campuses in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the school system is bringing more educational opportunities to students throughout Vietnam.
The growth of VAS has been achieved by a dedicated team of more than 1,300 high-quality Vietnamese and international teachers and staff, many of whom have been with the school since its inception.
Many alternatives to public education have been opened in recent years in Vietnam, especially private schools teaching international programmes.
VAS has created differentiation and a competitive advantage by pioneering the delivery of the Cambridge International Education in Vietnam, combined with the National Programme throughout all grades in Ho Chi Minh City.
Students enrolling in the VAS bilingual programme have advantages in terms of knowledge, skills, certificates, and diplomas issued by the Cambridge International Examinations Council (CIE), which have permanent, worldwide currency. Students also receive the national Ministry of Education and Training-mandated qualifications.
In particular, CIE’s A Level Diploma at VAS helps many students save on costs instead of going abroad.
VAS is also the first school to introduce the “7-core-value system” in its teaching methodology, using it as a guide for the students to develop strong values as well as prepare for success in higher levels of education and in life.
“In the next three to five years, with the support of TPG, we will invest in the development and training of our staff, the further improvement in the quality of our service, the teaching-learning activities, and the facilities throughout the entire system,” said VAS executive chairman Marcel van Miert.
“Regarding our expansion plans, VAS intends to open many more large-scale campuses in Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. I am very honoured to continue to accompany the VAS staff and teachers who will implement this plan.”