Masterskill in no hurry to dispose of remaining assets

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): The new shareholders of Masterskill Education Group Bhd (MEGB) led by SMRT Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Dr R Palan, said they are in no hurry to dispose of the remaining six fixed assets in the education group, which collectively have a fair value of close to RM200 million.

Palan, who is the executive director of MEGB, said the proceeds from the proposed disposal of its property assets in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Masai, Johor to a private company controlled by its former major shareholder Siva Kumar M. Jeyapalan for RM79.7 million will be more than enough to finance the turnaround plan for the tertiary businesses under MEGB.

“Including the Petaling Jaya and Masai (assets), all eight assets belonging to MEGB have a collective fair value of RM274 million. We are now looking for buyers for the other (six assets). They are now on open tender,” he told reporters after MEGB’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today.

In November last year, MEGB had announced plans to dispose of its assets as part of its strategy to become an asset-light company and settle its debts.

Earlier at the EGM, MEGB shareholders approved the group's proposal to dispose of its Petaling Jaya and Masai assets to Siva Kumar, who had sold his shareholdings in MEGB to SMRT and private equity fund Creador early this year.

Moving forward, Palan said MEGB management will spend RM3.4 million in marketing expenses over the next 12 months to boost its student intake at its campuses.

“That (RM3.4 million) turns out to be around RM280,000 per month. We aim to have a 35% growth in student population this year,” he said.

Currently MEGB’s Asia Metropolitan University has a student population of about 2,087, said Palan.

As at 4.37pm, MEGB’s (fundamental: 0.8; valuation: 0.3) share price was traded up 0.9% at 56 sen apiece, with 2.12 million shares done, giving it a market capitalisation of RM208.73 million.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)