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MindChamps lodges preliminary prospectus for IPO

MINDCHAMPS PreSchool, the largest operator and franchiser of premium-range pre-school centres in Singapore, has lodged its preliminary prospectus for a mainboard listing on the Singapore Exchange.

An earlier Bloomberg report, citing sources, said that the company is seeking a valuation of about S$200 million. A representative for MindChamps declined to comment when contacted on Friday.

China First Capital Group (CFCG), Hillhouse Capital and Target Asset Management have committed to come onboard as cornerstone investors, which will give them a collective stake of 11.97 per cent in the company after the initial public offering (IPO).

In a previous filing to the Hong Kong Exchange, CFCG had said that it would subscribe for a 4.99 per cent stake in MindChamps in a financial commitment that is not expected to exceed S$11 million.

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In a separate release on Friday, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) - which owns newspapers such as The Business Times - announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Invest Learning, has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with MindChamps to boost its stake by an additional 4.84 per cent for around S$3.95 million.

Invest Learning had previously acquired a 22 per cent stake in MindChamps for S$12 million in 2014; this move will lift its stake to 26.84 per cent.

The IPO will include an international placement to investors as well as a public offering, the document said.

MindChamps currently has 10 company-owned and 44 franchisee-operated pre-schools, and reading and writing centres across Singapore, Australia, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.

MindChamps said that it plans to use the net proceeds to partly repay loans as well as to fund its potential expansion plans in Singapore and overseas.