MindChamps launches IPO at 83 cents apiece

SINGAPORE - MindChamps Preschool, Singapore's biggest provider of premium pre-schools by market share, is aiming to raise S$49.3 million in gross proceeds from its mainboard listing on the Singapore Exchange to fund expansion plans.

The company, led by founder David Chiem, said the listing would allow MindChamps to spread its pedagogy - developed in collaboration with world experts working in the domains of neuroscience, child psychology and theatre - overseas.

Apart from Singapore and Australia, target markets include China, the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea and Vietnam.

"With our unique 3-Mind education model and leading position in the premium range pre-school market, we are confident that MindChamps is well-positioned to capture growth of the early childhood education industry globally," said Mr Chiem, who is also the group's executive chairman and chief executive officer.

On Friday (Nov 17), MindChamps offered 30.4 million shares at 83 cents each for its initial public offering (IPO), valuing the company at S$200.5 million.

The offer comprises a placement of 28.4 million shares and a public offer of two million shares sold by MindChamps Holdings, an investment holding company.

It includes 2.4 million shares reserved for management.

MindChamps Holdings will sell additional shares if required to cover an over-allotment option for a further 1.8 million shares.

Separate from the IPO, cornerstone investors - comprising Hong Kong-listed China First Capital Group (CFCG), Hillhouse Capital Management and Target Asset Management - will subscribe for an additional 28.9 million shares, also at 83 cents each.

MindChamps - whose existing shareholders include Singapore Press Holdings - said assuming the over-allotment option is not exercised, it will raise S$49.3 million in gross proceeds from both the IPO and the cornerstone placement, of which about S$47.6 million will be due to the company.

MindChamps intends to use S$6.1 million to partially repay an outstanding acquisition loan; S$34.5 million for expansion, including potential acquisitions; S$4 million for general corporate purposes and working capital; as well as S$3 million for listing-related expenses.

Ahead of the IPO, it has entered into business partnerships with CFCG and Hillhouse Capital that will see them operate pre-schools and kindergartens under the MindChamps brand in China, including Hong Kong, as well as in Australia and the US.

The group boasts more than 8,000 students enrolled, and employs more than 1,000 teachers globally. In Singapore, it has 36 centres, giving it a 38.5 per cent share of premium-range pre-schools. As at Oct 30, 2017, MindChamps has sold a total of 109 licences under unit franchise agreements and master franchise arrangements.

For the financial year ended on Dec 31, 2016, MindChamps generated S$18.4 million in revenue, up 48 per cent from S$12.4 million in 2015. Net profit attributable to equity holders was S$5.4 million in FY2016, compared to S$3.5 million in FY2015.

MindChamps plans to distribute dividends of at least 40 per cent of its net profit (excluding exceptional items) for FY2018, to reward shareholders for participating in its growth.

The offer will close at noon on Nov 22, and the shares will start trading on Nov 24.

DBS Bank is the sole issue manager.