Paramount sells rest of stake in education biz for lower price tag of RM120 mil

By Adam Aziz

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): Paramount Corp Bhd is disposing of its remaining stake in education units Paramount Education Sdn Bhd (PESB), Sri KDU Klang Sdn Bhd (SKK) and Sri KDU Sdn Bhd (SK) to XCL Education Malaysia Sdn Bhd for RM120 million cash.

The group has inked a conditional share sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with XCL, formerly known as Prestigion Education Sdn Bhd, which will mark Paramount’s exit from the education business.

Paramount, whose core business is in property development, holds 30.3% in PESB, which is a 66%-shareholder of R.E.A.L. Education Group. Paramount also owns 20% each in SKK and SK, it said.

Paramount was previously the sole shareholder of the three companies, but divested the stakes to XCL in 2019 for RM569.2 million. The transaction was completed in February 2020.

Paramount and XCL did not exercise the call and put options for the disposal and purchase of the remaining stakes for at least RM160 million by its deadline in mid-2022, but made the current transaction based on renegotiated terms, Paramount said.

The 25% discount in disposal price to RM120 million takes into account the weakened financial performance of the education units following the pandemic, Paramount added.

XCL’s directors comprise TPG Capital Asia managing partner Datuk Ganendran Sarvananthan, and Tunku Ali Redhauddin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz, both of which are ultimate shareholders of XCL.

With the proceeds, Paramount intends to use RM35 million to repay its debts, with another RM74.63 million for a proposed distribution within three months from completion of the sale. The group has 621.93 million shares outstanding, Bloomberg data showed.

Shares of Paramount settled down two sen or 3% at 65.5 sen on Monday (Sept 26), giving it a market capitalisation of RM404.37 million.

As published: The Edge on 26 September 2022, Monday