Sydney, 19 October 2023

The New Zealand Private Capital Association awarded Pacific Equity Partners (“PEP”) the Investment of the Year Award for PEP’s investment in UP Education, an Australasian private education provider with market leadership positions in New Zealand and a growing presence in Australia.

Accepting the Award, Rohan Wolfers, PEP Managing Director, said: “Our very first deal was Frucor in New Zealand – then part of the NZ Apples & Pears Board with a new product called “V” energy drink.  25 years later, Frucor remains the best investment in our firm’s history. Over time we have been privileged to have the opportunity to invest in great New Zealand businesses and many of our best deals have been here. New Zealand has always held a special place in our heart”.

Alex Ovchar, PEP Managing Director and head of PEP Partner & Client Group, added: “PEP invested significant time, energy and capital in growing UP Education, in partnership with an exceptional management team lead by Mark Rushworth and Colm Saunders and a strong group of educators and administrators. This growth was driven through investment to build new subject verticals and signing up new university partnerships, which helped build a stronger, larger and more resilient business.”

PEP first invested in UP Education through its private equity Fund V in 2016 and sold the business in 2023 to the UP Education SPV.

UP Education was the last remaining asset of Fund V, which is now fully realised, having delivered a realised Net IRR of 22%, with zero loss across any investment.

About Pacific Equity Partners

PEP is one of Australasia’s oldest and largest private equity firms, with $8B AUM across various investment strategies. Since 1998, PEP has made more than 190 acquisitions and delivered an average Gross IRR since inception of 41% p.a.  Our distinctive culture – built on a team-based approach of apprenticeship and longevity – and a consistent, disciplined investment focus have delivered strong, consistent results for our investment partners. PEP is celebrating its 25th year anniversary in 2023. Information on PEP and its investee companies can be found at

About Up Education

UP Education is a leading multi-sector education group delivering Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education, University Partnerships and Online Education across Australasia. As a top-two pathway provider in Australasia, UP Education has six university partnerships that prepare international students to transition successfully into English-speaking universities. UP Education’s private colleges span hundreds of programs with an unwavering focus on delivering high quality educational outcomes and supporting sustainable employment outcomes.  UP Education equips learners with the skills to work in a wide range of industries, including Construction, IT, Health, Early Childhood Education, Aged Care, Pharmacy, Hospitality, and Business Management.