China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Ltd. is close to acquiring one of the largest international schools in Singapore in a deal valued at about S$700 million ($500 million), according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Hong Kong-listed firm is in advanced talks for Singapore’s Canadian International School, which is owned by Southern Capital Group Pte and HPEF Capital Partners, the people said. An announcement could come as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be named as the information is private.
Southern Capital, a Singapore-based buyout firm, has been working with an adviser to explore options including a sale of the Canadian school, Bloomberg News reported in September. HPEF Capital is set to join Southern Capital in selling its stake in the school, the people said. The asset has attracted other education providers and private equity firms, one of the people said.
The negotiations are ongoing and could still fall apart, the people said. A representative for Southern Capital declined to comment, while representatives for China Maple Leaf and HPEF Capital didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside of business hours.
Canadian International School, founded in 1990, has about 3,000 students in Singapore, representing more than 70 nationalities across two campuses, according to its website. Like its peers in the Southeast Asian nation, the school competes for students from age 2 to 18 from expatriate and local families.
In 2015, Southern Capital and HPEF Capital, known as Headland Capital back then, bought Canadian International School for S$460 million, according to a report by their legal adviser Wong Partnership.
China Maple Leaf, which opened its first school in the Chinese city of Dalian in 1995, now has more than 43,500 students, according to its website. The company operates 104 schools from preschool to high school in China and overseas including in Canada and Australia.
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