Singapore-listed Chip Eng Seng Corporation has, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, terminated an arrangement with Repton International under which it had planned to launch pre-schools across Asia under the esteemed British private school’s brand.

In a filing with the Singapore Stock Exchange, Chip Eng Seng said that the agreements it entered on 25 April 2018 with Repton International will terminate with effect from 31 March 2021.

The organisation cited the “rapidly changing business environment precipitated by, amongst others, the Covid-19 pandemic” as the reason for cancelling its arrangement with Repton International, the overseas unit of Repton School in Derby, which would have seen the parties collaboratively launch pre-schools across Asia-Pacific.

Chip Eng Seng owns and operates two Repton pre-school centres in Singapore, which will be rebranded and consequently lose the Repton name as a result of the cancellation of the deal, it said.

Chip Eng Seng and Repton have agreed to continue their arrangement in Johor Bahru, where they launched Repton Malaysia, a K12 school, in September last year.

Chip Eng Seng noted that the termination of the contract “will not have any material impact” on its net tangible assets or earnings per share for the current financial year, ending 31 December 2020.

A market insider told this publication that, throughout the course of this, further collaborations between British private schools and domestic partners in Asia could be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The source explained: “I should think quite a few of the British-branded international schools will be struggling. At times like this, every dollar counts, and as ‘franchisors’, the British schools will be finding that their franchisees don’t much want to pay for use of the brand.”

Date published: 7 January 2021

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