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Chinese international schools chain completes HK$962m IPO

International school operator China Maple Leaf Educational Systems (MLES) has floated on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising a total of HK$961.9 million (£79 million).
Founded in 1995, MLES operates 34 schools in eight cities across China, serving about 12,500 K-12 students.
According to a regulatory filing, the Liaoning province-based firm issued 334 million shares at HK$2.88 per share, netting HK$866.2 million (£71 million) in the process.
MLES' largest shareholder, Sequoia Capital, has seen its stake in the business diluted somewhat. The US venture capital fund held a stake of around 23% but that now stands at about 17%.
New backers following the IPO include Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) and New China Asset Management, each of which owns a 2% share in the group. 
MLES says it will use the proceeds to acquire and develop new schools in major cities in China, as well as to repay bank loans.
The firm’s turnover increased by 14% in 2013 to RMB471.2 million, with net profit declining slightly to RMB105 million.

Posted on: 01/12/2014

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