Boustead weighs sale of majority stake in University of Nottingham Malaysia

University of Nottingham.

University of Nottingham Malaysia Sdn.’s owners are weighing a sale that could value the education provider at about 500 million ringgit ($123 million), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Boustead Holdings Bhd., a Malaysian conglomerate with interests in finance, plantations and properties, is working with an adviser on the planned sale of its majority stake in the offshore campus of the British university, the people said. YTL Corp., which also holds a stake in the learning institution, may tag along in the exit, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.

Boustead owns about 66% of the University of Nottingham Malaysia, while YTL and the University of Nottingham hold approximately 4% and 30% respectively, according to the people.

The partnership between the three parties was formally announced in 1998 following an invitation from Malaysia’s education ministry to establish an overseas campus, according to its website. The Malaysian institution, among the first branch campuses of British universities established outside of the U.K., welcomed its first students in September 2000.

The Nottingham University of Malaysia has a 125-acre campus in Semenyih, which is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) away from Kuala Lumpur, as well as a teaching site in the country’s capital. The education centre, which offers foundation-level courses through doctoral degrees, has around 5,000 students from more than 85 different countries.

Deliberations are still early and there is no certainty that Boustead and YTL will proceed with the deal, the people said. YTL Executive Chairman Francis Yeoh declined to comment, while representatives for Boustead and University of Nottingham Malaysia didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dealmaking in the education sector in Southeast Asia has gained momentum in recent years as investors bet that rising incomes in the region will translate to higher spending on schooling.

China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Ltd. acquired Singapore’s Canadian International School for S$680 million ($509 million) this year, while International Schools Partnership Ltd. in 2019 bought Tenby Education Group, which owns seven schools in Malaysia. In 2017, buyout firm EQT Partners invested in English teaching school ILA Vietnam.

Bloomberg

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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.

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  • 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. 
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