Paramount gets ok to sell pre-tertiary education ops

PETALING JAYA: Paramount Corp Bhd has obtained the Education Ministry’s approval for the sale of its pre-tertiary education business to Prestigion Education Sdn Bhd – formerly known as Two Horses Capital Sdn Bhd.

With the approval, the company said that it has fulfilled the final condition precedent for the RM540.5mi sale agreement that was signed in mid-2019 to move forward.

Paramount’s chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew said that the divestment has helped it unlock significant value for its investment in the education segment.

"With the divestment, Paramount will look for good land banks that we can develop in the next five years.

"Where there is synergy and greater efficiency, we will go into joint ventures, not just in property development but also in property-related businesses," he said in a statement.

"We will strengthen our construction capabilities and will continue to expand our co-working space and services, among other things in the pipeline.

"Last but not least, we will be venturing into property development overseas," he added.

Paramount will retain an effective 20% stake in the pre-tertiary education business, it said.

It said it is expecting the transaction to be completed by the first quarter of the year.

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

"This paves the way for us to focus our resources on growing the core business of property development," it said.

The company will also explore new business opportunities, it added.

On a proforma basis, the company said gains that would arise from the disposal are estimated at RM487.8mil.

Paramount also has a minority stake in its tertiary education business, from a 35% stake in UOW KDU after divesting its controlling equity stake to the University of Wollongong, Australia.

The sale was completed in September 2019.

As published: The Star