Curro through Sta­dio to ac­quire SBS Namibia

Fur­ther ac­cess to ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion through ex­pan­sion

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Sandile Mchunu

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.

Un­bun­dle

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 .

PHOTO: REUTERS

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.

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