The Board of Directors of China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Limited (“MLE” or the “Company”, stock code: 1317.HK) is pleased to announce a voluntary conditional general cash offer to acquire all the shares of GEM-listed Kingsley Edugroup Limited (“Kingsley”, stock code 8105.HK) at a price of HK$0.54 per share. This acquisition is part of MLE’s international expansion plan.
Kingsley owns and operates a school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, offering K-12 education to local and international students. The school, which as of this month has more than 1000 students and a physical capacity of 2,600, was opened in 2011, moved to its current location in 2015 and completed a major physical expansion plan in 2019. It has dormitory spaces for more than 800 students.
Should the offer to Kingsley shareholders be accepted, MLE will prioritize profitability through offering its high-quality international K-12 program to students from Malaysia, Singapore and other South East Asian countries. In addition to adding A-level and other advanced courses at the high school level, we will introduce our Mapleleaf Chinese as Secondary Language (CSL) curriculum, as co-developed and approved by China’s Confucius Institute. Aside from its K-12 programs, Kingsley currently offers some post-secondary educational services, which MLE intends to deregister.
Aside from planned curriculum enhancements and the deregistration of its tertiary services, MLE has no intention to introduce any significant changes to the existing operations and management of the Kingsley Group.
Kingsley owns two buildings and the free hold land associated with them. With a total floor area of 94,000 sqm, one is a 10-story building and another a 2-tower hostel of 13 and 15 stories. The school’s state-of-the-art facilities include a fully-equipped cafeteria, an indoor swimming pool, an Olympic size outdoor swimming pool, two libraries, a gymnasium and several multipurpose rooms and halls. The dormitory area covers 49,518 sqm which can host more than 800 boarding students. These assets are currently valued at more than HK$400M.
Kuala Lumpur is ideal for MLE expansion. Demand for high quality international education is growing both from the local community and expatriates working for the increasing number of multinational companies operating in Malaysia, including Nestle, Hewlett Packard, KPMG and Huawei. With Malaysia’s position as one of the key trading partners of China and a key part of the latter’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Kuala Lumpur has tremendous potential as a Southeast Asian international education hub, benefiting not only from Malaysian growth and development but also from growth in other ASEAN countries and throughout the region.
On track with the company’s Sixth Five-Year Plan, MLE will continue its expansion internationally. Within the Asia Pacific region, the acquisition of Kingsley will give MLE its first operating school in the region, with a second coming in due course at the Singapore school campus it acquired in 2016, currently under external lease. We have confidence that operating Asia Pacific region schools as a group will bring synergy in management and utilization of our curriculum development resources in China and Canada. The Board strongly believes that MLE’s twenty-five years of school operating experience and its globally-recognized international curriculum will provide great international education in the Asia Pacific region and complement China’s BRI plan. Moving forward, MLE will continue to explore the establishment or acquisition of more high-quality international schools in this region and beyond.
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