Chip Eng Seng scraps kindergarten tie-up with Repton

Both parties will instead focus on operating international K-12 school Repton International School, Malaysia. PHOTO: REPTON

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The collaboration between Singapore's Chip Eng Seng Corp and British firm Repton International Schools to establish international kindergartens in certain Asia-Pacific countries will terminate on March 31, 2021.

This came after Chip Eng Seng reviewed the tie-up in the context of its overall investments in the education business segment, in light of the rapidly changing environment amid the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors, the mainboard-listed company said in a filing on Monday evening (Dec 28).

Both parties will instead focus on operating international K-12 school Repton International School, Malaysia, which opened its doors in September this year in Johor Bahru.

Repton Malaysia caters to students aged three to 18, and its curriculum includes primary and secondary education.

With the focus on the K-12 school collaboration, both parties agreed to terminate their kindergarten partnership, Chip Eng Seng said.

The kindergarten tie-up, which began in April 2018, marked Chip Eng Seng's first steps in diversifying into the education sector. The company's other businesses include construction, civil infrastructure, precast technology, property development and hospitality.

Under the partnership, the two parties planned to set up a chain of premium international kindergartens under the Repton School brand name, with the collaboration agreement and trademark licensing agreement meant to take effect up to Dec 31, 2048.

Two Repton preschools have since been established in Singapore. Both are owned and operated by Chip Eng Seng, and will be rebranded with the group's proprietary brand, it said on Monday.

"This will allow the group to harness operational efficiency and synergy between the group's proprietary brands and to create a stronger identity," Chip Eng Seng added.

Its stock fell 1.2 per cent or 0.5 cent to finish Monday at 43 cents, before the filing.

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