Malaysia: KYS Education Group aims for $116.6m valuation in IPO

KYS Education Group's flagship college, KYS College Malacca's website.

Businessman Halim Saad is reportedly seeking a valuation of as much as MYR500 million ($116.6 million) in its initial public offering (IPO) of his private education group KYS Education Group.

The Edge Financial Daily cited sources familiar with Halim’s plans, noting that the offering is expected to take place in the second half of this year.

The proceeds will be used mainly for KYS Education Group’s expansion plans to provide a full-fledged one-stop centre for education – from preschool to primary, secondary and tertiary foundation, and to double its intake of students to 2,000 a year.

It was reported that KYS Education Group has yet to determine whether it will list its operating business or park its assets under a real estate investment trust.

A source said the education group and the lead arranger for its IPO are still working out pertinent details like the amount of shares to be issued, and how much of them make up the enlarged share base’s percentage.

“The amount to be raised is also yet to be confirmed,” the source added.

It is understood that given the soft market conditions, KYS Education Group might need to wait a few more months to obtain the MYR500 million market capitalisation in its IPO.

The group, which has over 20 years of track record in secondary education, has recently extended its offerings to include tertiary education, and soon pre-school and primary levels as well.

KYS Education Group’s educational institutions are currently parked under different companies, according to their education offerings. Upon listing, KYS Education Group will assume the role of the listed holding company for all the schools, The Edge reported, quoting its source.

The education group is reported to have total debts of around MYR70 million, which it plans to repay some or all of them with the listing proceeds. The debts make up around 30 per cent of the group’s net assets.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed that using the debts’ percentage to net assets, KYS Education Group would have a net asset value of around MYR233 million. If the group gets the MYR500 million valuation that it sought for, it would be valued at around two times its book value, The Edge reported.

Separately, the source said Halim is already looking to list another of its new venture into cloud-based accounting applications. Last month, Halim signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Xero Ltd, a cloud-based accounting software provider listed on New Zealand’s NZX stock exchange.

“The MoU was signed in December last year, and the (definitive) agreement is expected to be signed in March. The deal is more or less already firmed up because Xero will be coming for a roadshow here at the end of February,” said the source.

For now, Halim will register this business under a special-purpose vehicle. The plan is to get the accounting software business listed on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia upon reaching 30,000 customers or so, the source said.

Also read: Malaysia: KYS Education eyes IPO to bolster expansion plans

Malaysia: Ekuinas pushes education porfolio, Ilmu’s IPO to another 6 to 12 months

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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.