China Maple Leaf to buy Singapore’s Canadian International School for $487m

Photo: Canadian International School (CIS) website

China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Ltd. has agreed to acquire one of the largest international schools in Singapore in a deal valued at S$680 million ($487 million).

The Hong Kong-listed firm is buying all of the issued shares in Singapore’s Canadian International School from Southern Capital Group Pte and HPEF Capital Partners, according to a statement confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The transaction will be conducted in two parts, and will see the buyer pay in cash and settle Canadian International School’s debts, according to the statement. Upon completion of the deal, the school will become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of China Maple Leaf.

China Maple Leaf shares rose as much as 10.4% on Monday, the most since late April. They have fallen nearly 30% in the year to date. The Hang Seng index is down about 12.9% this year.

Southern Capital, a Singapore-based buyout firm, has been working with an adviser to explore options including a sale of the Canadian school, Bloomberg News reported in September. The asset had attracted other education providers and private equity firms, people familiar with the matter had said.

BNP Paribas SA acted as financial adviser to China Maple Leaf. Rippledot was financial adviser to Southern Capital and HPEF.

Canadian International School, founded in 1990, has about 3,000 students in Singapore, representing more than 70 nationalities across two campuses, according to its website. Like its peers in the Southeast Asian nation, the school competes for students from age 2 to 18 from expatriate and local families.

In 2015, Southern Capital and HPEF Capital, known as Headland Capital back then, bought Canadian International School for S$460 million, according to a report by their legal adviser Wong Partnership.

China Maple Leaf, which opened its first school in the Chinese city of Dalian in 1995, now has more than 43,500 students, according to its website. The company operates 104 schools from preschool to high school in China and overseas including in Canada and Australia.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.