AltX debut for Curro

Johannesburg - Curro Holdings, a Paladin Capital subsidiary which offers private schooling, listed on the AltX on Thursday.

Following the listing, Curro Holdings will launch a partially underwritten rights offer to raise R322.4m.  

Paladin will retain its majority stake and the balance of the rights offer will be underwritten by PSG Financial Services. The capital raised will finance an expansion of the Curro Holdings network of private schools throughout South Africa.

Curro has 12 schools and plans to add 40 more over the next nine years. Dr Chris van der Merwe, Curro Holdings CEO, says quality tuition is a problem in South Africa.

"The public education sector has a huge responsibility to supply enough schools for the ever-increasing number of children, and many state schools are becoming overcrowded. Curro Holdings can complement the public sector and ease the pressure by supplying affordable private school education for children aged 4 to 18.

"Our schools are staffed by trained and experienced teachers and our tuition fees are lower than those charged by high end, more expensive private schools. As a result, we have experienced sharp growth and there is ongoing demand for our schools," he said.

Noah Greenhill, head of marketing and business development at the JSE, said the AltX offered an opportunity for good quality, high growth companies to raise capital to fund future growth.

"We are pleased to welcome Curro Holdings to AltX and are confident that the company will enjoy a successful listing. Education is a critical element in the development of South Africa and AltX plays an important role in facilitating the growth and development of companies such as Curro, who provides this service," he said.

Curro's expansion was funded mostly by debt finance provided via Paladin, a wholly-owned subsidiary of diversified financial services firm PSG. The company was founded in 1998, with 28 learners receiving tuition in a church building in Durbanville. Today it has over 5 500 learners at its 12 campuses in the Western Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Curro shares were last trading at R7.90 each, with a high so far of R7.99 and a low of R5.50 on Thursday morning.
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