SMRT to complete Cyberjaya University stake buy by December

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KUALA LUMPUR: Human resource development provider SMRT Holdings Bhd expects to complete the acquisition of the remaining 30% stake in Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences for RM10 million by year-end.

“We are waiting for the Ministry of Education’s approval, and expect to get it within this year,” group chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Dr R Palan (pic) told The Edge Financial Daily after the group’s extraordinary general meeting last Friday.

SMRT currently owns 70% of In-Fusion Education Sdn Bhd (IESB), which manages and operates Cyberjaya University College, and on July 24 filed its intention to Bursa Malaysia to acquire the rest.

Earlier at the meeting, the group obtained the shareholders’ approval to transfer the listing of SMRT from the ACE Market to the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia.

“Our presence on the Main Market will reflect our solid business sense, and thus open doors for institutional investors. It is also part of our plan to create value for the group as we have met our qualifying indicator by achieving an annual profit of RM8 million,” said Palan.

SMRT in the past three years earned net profits of RM8.3 million (2011), RM8.5 million (2012) and RM8.2 million (2013).

On whether the group is eyeing other acquisitions, Palan said it is always on the lookout for opportunities along the education value chain, but will focus on the IESB deal for now.

Cyberjaya University College, which recorded losses of RM4.9 million and RM1.2 million in 2011 and 2012 respectively, successfully turned around in 2013 with a net profit of RM280,000.

“This year, we are still able to see full intakes for our medical and pharmaceutical programmes, most of them locals. We are also attracting foreign students from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries,” said Palan.

He revealed that there are plans to expand the university college, but declined to elaborate.

“Our education division has been creating a lot of value for the group, especially through the Economic Transformation Programme [in which] the government had expressed its intention to develop this sector,” he added.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 13, 2014.