Arowana to use IPO cash to expand in Asia

Arowana’s managing director says the firm will use the proceeds from its sale of shares in Intueri to invest in new schools in South-East Asia.

Arowana International’s managing director Kevin Chin said the company will use some of the proceeds from the initial public offering of its New Zealand education business Intueri to establish up to 10 schools in South-East Asia in the next three years.

Mr Chin told Data Room in an interview Arowana will establish joint ventures with wealthy Asian investors to open schools in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and possibly Burma. He said Arowana was in discussions with Australian, New Zealand and UK schools to use their brands and expertise to establish kindergarten through to year 12 schools in major Asian cities.

He said the initial investment in the proposed expansion into Asia will be “less than $10 million” with Asian investors providing the property on which the schools will be built.

The schools will not seek to attract the elite who currently send their children to boarding school in the US or UK or a campus of a famed British public school in Asia, such as the Harrow International School in Bangkok or Marlborough College in Malaysia.

“There is a significant segment of the population in South-East Asia that can afford to send their children to a good private school in their own country,” says Mr Chin.

Intueri has an enterprise value of between NZ$243m and NZ$293m, based on the company’s IPO price range, minus net debt of NZ$17.5m, according to Mr Chin.

Arowana earlier said in its prospectus that it will seek a dual listing on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges for Intueri, which it says is the largest vocational trainer in New Zealand. The joint lead managers are UBS and Macquarie.

(Reporting by Brett.Cole@businessspectator.com.au

Editing by Victoria.Thieberger@businessspectator.com.au )