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PUBLISHED: Apr 30, 2015 5:29pm

Ekuinas education unit listing by year-end

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THE RAKYAT POST By:
The Rakyat Post

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 30, 2015:

Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) is looking to list its education unit, Ilmu Education Group, by year end or early next year at the latest.

Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Arshad Raja Tun Uda said: “I think we have indicated earlier that we are looking at our education group as the next one to divest or list in the near future.”

Chief executive officer Abdul Rahman Ahmad added: “We are looking at listing or probably the sale of a strategic stakes hopefully by year end or earlier 2016.

“We have recently acquired Tenby Group of Schools which we feel have completed our education unit.”

“Before this, Ilmu had a lot of tertiary businesses in its portfolio such as APIIT Lanka, Cosmopoint Group and UNITAR International University. We wanted to expand our K12 business and this is where Tenby comes in.”

He added that it provided a K12 component to the busines apart from their APIIT Education Group in Subang.

“Now our portfolio of education schools have a good mix of both tertiary as well as K12. We have more than 30,000 students, our revenue is in excess of RM300 million.

“Although we prefer an IPO, I think we cannot discount any other possibilities of divestment as well.

Arshad said: “We always look at the various options at that particular time on which is the most attractive to us.”

The chairman then hinted that its food unit will probably be next in line after the exercise for its education arm.

Abdul Rahman explained: “I think that will probably take a little bit more time because we want to scale it up and expand the business first.

“It’s the next largest business in our portfolio so we want to increase our food outlets and scale the business.

It’ll probably another three to five years time but realistically, consumer based business like food might take longer because you need to slowly scale up and expand outlets.

“But, looking at things, we are quite sizeable in terms of business. It’s whether if we want to quickly realise the value or help them continue to become bigger.”

Abdul Rahman also noted that Ekuinas is looking to grow in the health sector as well.

“We try to see opportunities in that particular sector as we haven’t expanded much in that. We have identified a few investments to look at and have spent a considerably amount of time in that sector.

“While its definitely not hospitals, it will be focused on services within the healthcare space.”

For 2014, Ekuinas undertook nine direct and outsourced investments with a total committed capital of RM605.8 million – which brings the total cumulative committed investments undertaken to 33 amounting to approximately RM3 billion that has positively impacted the economy.

Ekuinas has increased in Bumiputera equities by RM4.2 billion and increased in total shareholders value for 2014 to RM5.5 billion.

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