Paramount gets MOE’s nod for education business sale

PETALING JAYA: Paramount Corp Bhd has received approval from the Education Ministry (MOE) for the sale of its controlling equity interest in its pre-tertiary education business to Prestigion Education Sdn Bhd.

“MOE’s approval is the last condition precedent to the completion of the sale and purchase agreement signed on June 19, 2019. The transaction is expected to be completed by Q1 2020,” the group said in a statement yesterday.

The pre-tertiary institutions involved are Sri KDU Schools, R.E.A.L Schools, R.E.A.L Kids pre schools, and Cambridge English For Life (CEFL) enrichment centres.

Paramount had earlier obtained approval from its shareholders for the RM540.5 million cash transaction during an EGM on Sept 13, 2019.

Of the proceeds, some RM177 million will be distributed to shareholders as a special dividend; RM150 million to acquire landbank within 24 months; RM133.6 million to partially repay borrowings; and RM57 million as working capital.

Based on a proforma basis, the gain arising from the disposal is estimated at RM487.8 million.

Paramount CEO Jeffrey Chew said the divestment has unlocked significant value for Paramount’s investment in the education segment.

“This paves the way for Paramount to focus its resources into growing its core business of property development. At the same time, it will explore new business opportunities.”

Following the transaction, the group will retain an effective 20% stake in the pre-tertiary education business.

As published: The Sun