MindChamps to buy 8 pre-schools in Australia

MindChamps PreSchool, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into an agreement to buy all the shares of seven companies that own and operate eight early learning centres in Sydney for a total of nearly A$40.84 million (S$39.3 million).

The pre-school centres are in six suburbs of Sydney - Mascot, Parramatta, Albion Park, West Hoxton, Kemps Creek and Shellharbour - MindChamps said in a regulatory filing with the Singapore Exchange on Sunday.

The move will raise the total number of MindChamps' early learning centres in Australia to 20, significantly strengthening the brand's presence there.

Two of the seven companies are being sold by Malek Family as trustee for the Malek Family Trust. The other five are being sold by Malek Group Investments as trustee for the Malek Investments Trust.

The acquisition is expected to have a positive impact on MindChamps' group earnings per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019.

MindChamps noted in its press release that its 2018 full-year results have indicated growing contributions from its Australian operations, with revenue from centres in Australia making up 32 per cent of the group's total earnings.

Upon completion of the acquisition, there will be 82 MindChamps pre-school and enrichment centres across Singapore, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Mr David Chiem, founder, CEO and executive chairman of MindChamps, said in the press statement: "MindChamps began as a research team in Sydney in 1998, and now, having proven the success of our breakthrough early childhood education model (known globally as the 3 Minds Education Movement), I am proud to be able to bring it back to Australia where it first began, to make a difference to the development of young minds here."

The purchase consideration for the acquisition will be satisfied with a combination of cash from MindChamps' initial public offering proceeds and an acquisition loan, and is to be paid upon completion of the share purchase agreement.

As at June 30 last year, based on unaudited management accounts, the aggregate book value of the seven companies that own the pre-schools was nearly A$4.5 million. Their aggregate net tangible asset value was about A$2.55 million.

The Straits Times' parent company, Singapore Press Holdings, is a MindChamps shareholder.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2019, with the headline 'MindChamps to buy 8 pre-schools in Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe