THE HOLDING FIRM of Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy has finalized its acquisition of Enderun Colleges, Inc., furthering its foray into the education sector.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Udenna Corp. said it closed the transaction to purchase the private educational institution in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Independent investment banking advisory firm Evercore acted as Enderun’s sole financial adviser for the transaction.

“Enderun Colleges provides us another opportunity to support the Philippine economy’s growth. We believe that quality education and skills training are what make our human capital more productive and competitive,” Mr. Uy was quoted as saying in the statement.

Established in 2005, Enderun Colleges initially offered academic programs solely in the hospitality management and culinary arts track. It expanded its offerings in 2009 by including business administration, entrepreneurship, and economics.

Its 1.8-hectare campus houses six buildings and an additional 8,2000 square meters of classroom space. The institution also operates food and beverage outlets within and outside its campus, while providing management services and marketing solutions to the hospitality sector through its consulting division, Enderun Hospitality Management.

“Enderun Colleges has built an impeccable reputation and has surpassed all its quality goals, but the time has come to explore new growth opportunities, which the new ownership may be able to accelerate,” the school’s President Edgardo Rodriguez was quoted as saying.

Enderun Colleges is the Udenna group’s second foray into the education sector, after investing in a maritime training school to support its shipping and logistics businesses.

“Our acquisition of Enderun Colleges comes at an opportune time. It supports our aggressive expansion in industries vital to the Philippine economy’s further growth,” Mr. Uy said.

With the acquisition, Udenna noted that it will retain the corporate management of Enderun’s school administration, working closely with the founders to facilitate the transfer of ownership.

“We are committed to the mission of Enderun Colleges to equip students with the academic training, professional competencies and character necessary for success in the global workplace,” Mr. Uy said.

The Udenna group’s diversified portfolio includes oil and gas through Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., real estate through the Udenna Development Corp., and shipping and logistics through soon-to-list firm Chelsea Logistics Holdings, Corp.

Chelsea Logistics is currently awaiting approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to list 546.59 million shares worth as much as P8 billion in the main board of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Proceeds of the firm’s maiden offer will be used to fast-track its expansion, as other conglomerates also enter the logistics business. — Arra B. Francia