[The Star] SEG International owners mull stake sale

“There has been some inquiries from interested parties, ” Hii(pic) said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg query. “While we’re open to possibilities, there hasn’t been concrete discussions on this matter at the moment.”

KUALA LUMPUR: Owners of SEG International Bhd (SEGi) are considering selling their stakes in the private tertiary education group, according to people familiar with the matter.

Navis Capital Partners Ltd, an Asia-focused private-equity firm, and SEGi managing director Clement Hii, have held preliminary discussions with potential advisers, the people said. The asset has drawn some interests from potential suitors including Chinese companies, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

“There has been some inquiries from interested parties, ” Hii said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg query. “While we’re open to possibilities, there hasn’t been concrete discussions on this matter at the moment.”

Deliberations are at an early stage and there’s no certainty the owners would proceed with a transaction, the people said. Navis Capital declined to comment.

While a sale could come as the growing affluent families in Asia drives demand for private education and overseas study, the political uncertainty in Malaysia and the novel coronavirus outbreak could weigh on the plan. Navis Capital is the biggest shareholder with about 37% stake in SEGi, followed by Clement Hii’s 32%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of SEGi have dropped 2.4% in the past year, giving the company a market value of about RM774mil.

SEGi, based in Kuala Lumpur since 1977, owns and runs five SEGi universities and colleges across Malaysia, serving 25,000 students, according to its website. — Bloomberg

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