A roll-up of private tertiary training providers is being prepared for a sharemarket float that could value the combined business at up to $250 million, according to market sources.
It's understood to be the latest move in this country by Kern Group, the Australian company behind last year's listing of New Zealand early childhood education provider Evolve Education Group.
Base Education hoped to raise up to $100 million in new capital through an initial public offering (IPO), some of which would be used to fund the acquisition of about five private training providers across New Zealand, said a source.
The source said some of the facilities' existing owners would receive Base Education shares in return for their holdings, while others would receive cash and shares.
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The existing owners are expected to retain a roughly 50 per cent stake in the company after the IPO.
It's understood the IPO and sharemarket float - possibly a dual listing on the ASX and NZX - may happen within the next six to 10 weeks.
While the names of the education facilities are being kept under wraps, the source said they were geared towards the international student market with a focus on training areas such as health and safety, accounting, IT and welding.
Goldman Sachs, which advised Kern Group during the Evolve float, is also managing the Base Education IPO.
Companies Office records show Base Education NZ, the likely vehicle for the deal, directed by Greg Kern and Russell Daly of Kern Group, was incorporated last July. The deal appears to be an echo of Evolve, which listed in December at $1 a share.
Evolve, whose shares closed at $1.05 yesterday, used the $132 million it raised through the IPO to fund the purchase of New Zealand early childhood education businesses including Lollipops Educare and Porse.
Intueri Education Group, a roll-up of private education providers, listed on the NZX and ASX at $2.35 a share last May. Its shares closed at $2.08 last night.