MindChamps inks deal to help it expand into China

This article is more than 12 months old

MindChamps PreSchool has signed a joint venture agreement with China First Capital Group (CFCG) that will allow it to make its first foray into China.

The joint venture will see the establishment of a fund that aims to raise an initial tranche of US$200 million (S$262 million) from the offering and sale of limited partnership interests to limited partners, MindChamps said yesterday.

MindChamps and CFCG may also invest in the fund, which will be used to set up and acquire pre-school centres under the MindChamps brand in China.

First Capital Asset Management, which is indirectly wholly owned by CFCG, will be appointed as an investment adviser to the fund.

MindChamps and CFCG will also incorporate a new company, which will be appointed the master franchisee in China. MindChamps will own 49 per cent in the master franchisee, and CFCG the remainder.

MindChamps will receive income from areas such as licence fees from the master franchisee as well as royalties from the pre-schools.

MindChamps PreSchool chief executive David Chiem said of its Champion Mindset pre-schools: "With the success of our research and implementation in Singapore, we are excited to now launch this breakthrough education model in China to make a difference to the children of China and the world at large."

Hong Kong-listed CFCG is a cornerstone investor in the company's initial public offering, which took place in November last year, as are Hillhouse Capital Management and Target Asset Management.

Singapore Press Holdings, which owns The Straits Times and The New Paper, also holds a stake in MindChamps.

CFCG chairman Wilson Sea said: "CFCG highly values our tie-up with MindChamps and considers the (joint venture) as a core strategic platform of our education business in China."

MindChamps was founded as an educational research centre in Australia in 1998 and opened its first pre-school in Singapore in 2008.

It is now the largest operator and franchiser of premium range pre-school centres here and the first such operator in Singapore to be publicly-listed.