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MindChamps inks deal to buy 8 more early learning centres in Australia

MINDCHAMPS PreSchool Limited, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has entered into an agreement to buy all the shares of seven companies that own and operate eight preschool centres in the suburbs of Sydney, for a total of nearly A$40.84 million (S$39.4 million).

The purchase consideration was arrived at on an arms' length, willing-seller-willing-buyer basis, after taking into account various factors such as the existing assets, goodwill, financial position and business prospects of each of the respective companies, MindChamps said in a regulatory filing with the Singapore Exchange on Sunday.

The purchase consideration is intended to be satisfied from a combination of cash from MindChamps' initial public offering proceeds and an acquisition loan, and is to be paid upon completion of the share purchase agreement.

As at June 30, 2018 (based on the unaudited management accounts of the seven companies), the aggregate book value of the companies  was nearly A$4.5 million and their aggregate net tangible asset value about A$2.55 million.

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The eight preschool centres are in six suburbs of Sydney - Mascot, Parramatta, Albion Park, West Hoxton, Kemps Creek and Shellharbour.

The acquisition will take the total number of MindChamps early learning centres in Australia to 20, significantly strengthening the brand's presence there.

Two of the seven companies are being sold by Malek Family Pte Ltd as trustee for the Malek Family Trust while the other five are being sold by Malek Group Investments Pte Ltd as trustee for the Malek Investments Trust.

The acquisition is expected to have a significant positive impact on MindChamps group earnings per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019.

MindChamps noted in its press release that its 2018 full-year results have indicated growing contributions from its Australian operations, with revenue from Australian centres making up 32 per cent of the group's revenue.

Upon completion of the acquisitions, there will be 82 MindChamps preschool and enrichment centres across Singapore, Australia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam.

David Chiem, founder CEO & executive chairman of MindChamps, said: "MindChamps began as a research team in Sydney in 1998, and now, having proven the success of our breakthrough early childhood education model (known globally as the 3 Minds Education Movement), I am proud to be able to bring it back to Australia where it first began, to make a difference to the development of young minds here."

Singapore Press Holdings has a stake in MindChamps.