Curro through Stadio to acquire SBS Namibia
Further access to tertiary education through expansion
PRIVATE school operator Curro Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire 74 percent of the issued share capital of the Southern Business School (SBS) through its subsidiary Stadio.
“Curro will hold a 51 percent interest in Southern Business School of Namibia.
“The acquisition is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, including the approval of the requisite competition authorities,” the group said.
SBS is a South African registered higher education institution, with SBS Namibia being recognised by the Namibian Qualification Authority.
SBS has 11 accredited distance learning programmes, ranging from higher certificates to masters’ degrees with three academic schools which offer dedicated programmes as well as short courses, namely the School of Business and Economics, the School of Safety in Society and the School of Law.
At the beginning of 2016 chief executive Chris van der Merwe said Curro had set aside R2 billion for the reminder of the year; with R800 million earmarked for the construction of new campuses and R450m for the expansion of existing campuses.
The remainder of that amount was for future acquisitions, said Van der Merwe.
SBS was founded by Chris Vorster in 1996 and the business school offers accredited programmes through distance learning.
It has grown from 38 students in 1996 to approximately 9 956 students currently enrolled in South Africa and Namibia.
In 2016, SBS launched a Bachelor of Commerce (Law) degree as part of its strategy to expand its range of programmes offered.
SBS will seek out growth opportunities by introducing new programmes as well as increasing its presence and reach geographically.
This strategy is aligned with Stadio’s strategy of creating further access to tertiary education through the expansion and development of its core brands.
Curro has also re-affirmed its intention to unbundle and list Stadio separately during the course of this year.
Shareholders are advised that further details in respect of such unbundling and listing will be released in due course.
Curro announced in its results presentation in February that Chris van der Merwe will step down at the end of June and be replaced by current chief operations officer Andries Greyling, effective from July 1.
Van der Merwe, who has been Curro’s chief executive since 1999, will become a new chief executive of a soon to be separately listed entity.
However, he will remain a strategic adviser and non-executive director at Curro.
Nolwandle Mthombeni, an investment analyst at Mergence Investment Managers, had said earlier about the expansion of Curro: “When you are already a dominant player in the private schooling market it is only natural to grow into tertiary education.
“This is evidenced by listed competitor, ADvTECH, that had a head start and is currently the biggest provider of private tertiary education in South Africa with more than 29 .
A security guard walks at Waterstone College, a private school managed by Curro in the south of Johannesburg. Curro Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire 74 percent of Southern Business School.