Press release by Curro Holdings
Curro Holdings, the JSE listed independent schools group, is ready to set foot outside South Africa for the first time with the acquisition of Namibia’s top independent school in the country’s capital, Windhoek Gymnasium.
The transaction, still subject to the approval of the Namibian competition commission, amounts to R180 million. Curro will finance the transaction by way of making use of its existing cash reserves and bank loans.
The school, established in 2007, currently accommodates 1 509 leaners. Curro plans to expand the campus with additional facilities and erven to ultimately provide for about 2 600 learners. A separate primary school nearby is also on the cards.
Announcing the transaction, Curro CEO Dr Chris van der Merwe said that Windhoek Gymnasium’s ethos, values and norms are perfectly aligned with that of Curro’s, making it a very suitable acquisition for the group. “We also understand the need for its product to be offered in other areas in Namibia and will pursue this avenue whenever suitable opportunities arise.”
Curro’s vision remains 80 campuses (200 schools) by 2020 and the group consistently delivered seven new campuses per year over the last few years. The group is committed to do that until 2020. Windhoek Gymnasium, however, is an additional opportunity to this vision. Our main focus remains on opportunities in South Africa, of which there are more than enough and especially for next year.
Dr Van der Merwe said that the educators at Windhoek Gymnasium will now become part of a larger group, providing them with more opportunities for promotion. There will also be curriculum innovation and with a capital injection from Curro more and better facilities for learners, amongst many other benefits from this transaction. “Our subject heads will share best curriculum practices with Windhoek Gymnasium and through effective collaboration we shall learn from one another and all become stronger and smarter,” Dr Van der Merwe said.
Turning to Curro, Dr Van der Merwe said that the construction of campuses is progressing according to plan. “The group currently has 42 campuses (100 schools) in operation with 36 085 learners to which many additional facilities are also being added. This is done to create more capacity for 2016.
“We are currently preparing ourselves for strong growth in 2016”, Dr Van der Merwe said.