MindChamps plans overseas expansion, listing after SPH partnership

Home-grown pre-school chain MindChamps Preschool plans to expand into Malaysia and Australia, on the back of a new partnership with media group Singapore Press Holdings. The company is also planning for an eventual stock market listing, founder and g
Home-grown pre-school chain MindChamps Preschool plans to expand into Malaysia and Australia, on the back of a new partnership with media group Singapore Press Holdings. The company is also planning for an eventual stock market listing, founder and group chief executive David Chiem (pictured) told a press conference on Thursday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - Home-grown pre-school chain MindChamps Preschool plans to expand into Malaysia and Australia, on the back of a new partnership with media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

The company is also planning for an eventual stock market listing, founder and group chief executive David Chiem told a press conference on Thursday. However, he declined to reveal when this might occur.

SPH announced on Wednesday that it has paid about $12 million in cash for 110,000 shares in MindChamps Preschool (Worldwide). That works out to a 22 per cent stake in the firm.

MindChamps Preschool will open its first centre in Kuala Lumpur by the second quarter of next year, and expects to be in Australia by 2016.

It has plans for at least 20 centres in Malaysia over three years, and hopes to set up 10 centres in Australia in its first year there, Mr Chiem said.

The company operates under a franchise business model, which allows independent operators - or franchisees - to set up their own centres under the MindChamps brand.

MindChamps Preschool, launched in 2008, has 24 centres in Singapore, of which 21 are franchised. This includes two new centres in Bukit Merah and Bedok, which are slated to open next month.

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