The Carlyle Group To Invest Up to US$20 Million in Topia Academy Supporting Private Education Institute to Expand Nationwide in Korea
Seoul, Korea – Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group (Carlyle) today announced it will invest up to US$20 million (18.6 billion Korean Won) in Topia Academy, Inc. Topia is one of Korea’s most diversified and largest after-school private education institutes in scale and curriculum offering. The investment, which will fuel Topia’s continued growth, will come from Carlyle Asia Growth Capital Partners III, a US$680 million fund. Further details of the transaction are not disclosed.
Founded in 1995 by Mr. Seok-Hwan Kim, a former English lecturer, Topia offers supplementary diversified curriculum and single-subject classes to elementary and high school students. Topia has more than 10,000 students and employs 600 people including 440 teachers. It has a total of 14 schools, including two directly-owned campuses in Joong-gye and Daechi districts in the Seoul metropolitan area, and 12 franchise schools.
Leveraging its core strengths in prep courses for magnet high schools’ entrance examinations and English teaching, it has pioneered a comprehensive curriculum extending from elementary to high school markets. With its strong brand, it has also diversified into online and franchise education services as it continues to institutionalize its operation and broaden revenue streams.
Mr. Kim, Founder and CEO of Topia, said, “Korean parents place a particular emphasis on education, leading to a thriving after-school private tuition sector of US$8 billion in market size. Carlyle’s investment comes at an inflection point, with Topia poised to grow multi-fold in the coming years. We aim to help students pass through gateways into Korea’s top colleges and to become a nationwide market leader in the next few years through franchise and online education. I am delighted to welcome Carlyle as a strategic partner who has shown tremendous understanding of and commitment to the Korean market.”
Mr. Wayne Tsou, Managing Director and Head of Carlyle Asia Growth Capital Group, said, “Carlyle is proud to support a company with a strong commitment to education, a pillar of growth in human capital. We like this sector, which shows great resilience to economic cycles, and will continue to explore opportunities in this space in other Asian countries. In the U.S. Carlyle has invested in Wall Street Institute, an English language instruction company. From implementing the best management practices and financial systems to attracting top management talent and resources, we are a committed, long-term partner to our portfolio companies.”
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