Navis pours $30m into Indian education sector

The Asia-focused firm’s first education investment will be used to increase Edutech’s number of campuses and types of curriculum.

Malaysia-based Navis Capital Partners has invested $30 million for a stake of between 55 percent and 80 percent in Edutech, an Indian education company.

Edutech offers tertiary, post-graduate and part-time executive programmes in fields such as finance, healthcare, hotel management and hospitality. In 2008, it made INR550 million ($11 million; €8 million) in revenues. The school currently has seven campuses across India.

Education is a very defensive business with no great downside to the economic cycle.

Nick Bloy

The capital will be used to increase Edutech’s number of campuses as well as curriculum offered. The company aims to offer new courses such as law and engineering and have 12 Indian campuses by 2013.

“Edutech is an excellent brand and there is pent-up demand for it in terms of the number of applications versus the number of places,” Nick Bloy, managing partner of Navis, said in an interview. “Education is a very defensive business with no great downside to the economic cycle,” he added.

The investment was made from  Navis V, which closed on more than $1 billion in 2007. The fund is approximately 50 percent invested, according to Bloy. Navis V is more than triple the size of its predecessor Navis IV, which closed on $315 million in 2004. 

The firm's first investment in an Indian listed company took place in October 2008 when it acquired a 62 percent stake in Sah Petroleums, a Mumbai-based lubricants maker.
 
Founded in 1998, Navis focuses on buyouts primarily in South and Southeast Asia. It has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Sydney.