Harbour Asset Management has sold down its stake in Intueri Education Group, ceasing to be a substantial shareholder following the company's disclosure on Friday that it will exit Australia after losing government subsidies and is considering bids for its assets while it undergoes a detailed strategic review.
The Wellington-based fund manager sold about 4 million shares of Intueri on Friday for $76,555, taking it from a 6.97 per cent holding in the embattled private education company to 2.89 per cent. It had previously reduced its holding from 9.64 per cent in January, selling 2.4 million shares for $76,870. First NZ Capital, which owns 77 per cent of Harbour, sold its remaining 0.3 per cent holding in Intueri in January.
Intueri's shares plunged 50 per cent to a record low 1.5 cents on Friday following its announcement. They had already dropped 95 per cent over the course of 2016, hitting 3.2 cents at the end of the year. There was a 32 per cent fall in Jan. 2016 when the company announced the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was investigating its Quantum Education Group, and a further 80 percent slump in September 2016 after it announced the Australian government audit which ultimately led to it not receiving subsidies in that country.
The company listed at $2.35 in 2014 after a $60m initial public offering which funded the acquisition of Quantum, valuing it at $252.5m. However, a raft of bad news, including the death of a student at its diving school, issues with its prospectus and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) reviewing its funding, meant the stock dropped 74 per cent over 2015. It's now worth 1.5 million according to Reuters.
Intueri wants to sell its Australian assets by the end of the year, having delisted its shares from the ASX in January. The company's Australian segment accounted for 35 per cent of its $50.1m of revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2016. The company's accounts for the year to December 31, 2016, are due later this month.
In New Zealand, the company is still under SFO investigation, with a TEC report on Quantum due soon, which the company has said it expects to allow the SFO to progress and end its inquiry. It has sold its Dive School, with the transaction expected to settle next month subject to conditions, leaving it with Quantum along with the Design & Arts College, which it consolidated from three campuses to one in 2016 as it had struggled for years and a number of private training colleges which it has amalgamated into Intueri Education New Zealand (IENZ).
Within its announcement last Friday, Intueri reaffirmed its expectation that it's in breach of its banking covenants and said it's still working with its lender, ANZ Bank New Zealand, to restructure its debt finance facilities.