KKR to buy majority stake in New Zealand's Education Perfect

SYDNEY (Reuters) -KKR & Co Inc has agreed to acquire a majority stake in New Zealand-based online education company Education Perfect from Mulpha International in a deal valuing the company at $318.82 million, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

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

Mulpha, which originally invested NZ$16 million ($11.21 million) in the online education platform in 2017, will sell its entire stake of 38% to funds advised or managed by KKR, it said in documents filed with Malaysia’s stock exchange.

Gross consideration for the sale agreement, which was signed on Tuesday, adds up to NZ$455 million, the filing shows.

In a separate statement, KKR said it would help speed up global expansion of Education Perfect, already used by about 3,000 schools, 50,000 teachers and 1 million students in more than 50 countries.

It did not disclose the price it paid nor the shareholding acquired.

“KKR acquired a majority stake in the company, but ... there are other significant minority investors, so KKR didn’t invest the full NZ$455 million EV price tag,” the KKR spokeswoman said in an emailed response to a Reuters query.

Sydney-based private equity firm Five V Capital will remain invested in the company, KKR added in its statement.

With more than 200 employees, Education Perfect booked sales of NZ$31 million and after tax profit of NZ$3.3 million in the year to December, Mulpha’s filing showed.

“Education Perfect aligns with our focus on lifelong learning by democratising access to quality digital tools for teachers and students,” said Chee-Wei Wong, KKR’s head of global impact for Asia.

($1=1.4271 New Zealand dollars)

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; editing by Uttaresh.V and Emelia Sithole-Matarise