Raffles Education enters Europe with $39.8m Switzerland acquisition

SINGAPORE - Private education provider Raffles Education Corp has made its first foray into Europe with a number of acquisitions in Switzerland.

The mainboard-listed group bought the Hotel Nendaz 4 Vallees and Spa, seven commercial units and a 12,000 sq m plot of land with two buildings for a total sum of 29.12 Swiss francs (S$39.8 million).

Raffles Education intends to use them to set up a hospitality management school, a design school and a Swiss International Baccalaureate school.

The acquisitions are expected to have a positive impact on Raffles Education's current financial year, the group said on Thursday.

"This latest move is very much in line with our growth strategy," said the group's chairman and chief executive Chew Hua Seng.

"Over the years, the group has built on its primary core business as a premier education provider to grow another two related core businesses - management of education assets and facilities and education-linked real estate investment and development."

The hotel and the seven commercial units bought by the group sit on a total land area of 5,910 sq m with a built-up area of 9,895 sq m. The 62-room hotel is currently leased to a hotel operator, which has an existing option to buy the property for about 27 million Swiss francs ($36.9 million) before the end of 2016.

The commercial units are located on the hotel complex's ground floor. Four are rented out and Raffles Education intends to use the rest for its own purposes.

The 12,000 sq m plot of land comprises two existing buildings with teaching rooms, dormitory facilities and a canteen as well as a basketball court and lawns. Collectively the property is known as the Colonie.