Navis closes Australia education deal

The firm has taken an majority stake in Modern Star as it continues to build its Australia portfolio

Pan-regional private equity firm Navis Capital Partners has sealed an investment in Australia-based Modern Star, a B2B distributor of education resources to early childhood centres and schools, according to a statement.

Navis took a majority equity stake the business, although exact terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The company’s key senior management will remain as shareholders and continue to lead the business with a focus on expanding its market share in what Navis says is a highly fragmented domestic market.

“As the industry consolidates, Modern Star is well placed to expand both organically, and via acquisition, by leveraging its strong brand and robust online presence, together with its deep market penetration,” the statement said.

Philip Latham, a senior partner of Navis, added, “Modern Star builds upon Navis’s strong sector experience in education, joining Guardian Early Learning, SEGi University Group, Wall Street Institute and ITM Business School in the Navis portfolio.”

“The Company’s brands have a long and rich heritage that resonates with school teachers dating back to the 1960s and we are looking forward to working with the management team to continue its strong earnings trajectory domestically and also opening up growth avenues in Southeast Asia, where Navis has deep experience.”

Navis, traditionally focused on Southeast Asia, has been building its presence in Australia. In September last year, the firm acquired Guardian Early Learning, an Australian operator of childcare centres.

The firm now manages around $5 billion and has completed around 60 transactions since its inception in 1998. The firm recently raised its seventh private equity vehicle, which closed at around $1.3 billion.