Amanat : Amanat Holdings has unveiled its second UAE-based education acquisition of the past three months, with a sale and leaseback deal for the real estate assets of North London Collegiate School (NCLS) in Dubai.
The deal comes amid uncertain times for the emirate’s education sector, after fees were unexpectedly frozen earlier this month.
Amanat, a Dubai-based investor in education and health care assets, said on Wednesday it would acquire NCLS’s existing real estate assets for 360 million dirhams (S97.9 million) from PNC Investments, the parent company of Indian real estate developer the Sobha Group, and commit up to 45 million dirhams for the school’s future expansion.
“The transaction is expected to deliver a stable yield, in line with Amanat’s long-term commitment to dividends and value creation for its shareholders,” the company said in a statement.
NCLS Dubai, which opened in September 2017, is situated on a 38,000 square meter plot in the Sobha Hartland development at Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum City.
“Investing in the GCC’s K-12 private education market is highly attractive; especially in the UAE, where expatriate families, a young population and growing interest from middle and higher income citizens are expected to increase demand for private school enrolment,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, vice chairman and managing director of Amanat.
“By entering into a sale and leaseback of NLCS Dubai, Amanat is investing in a high-quality asset that will generate longterm, secure cash flows and balance our portfolio across a diverse range of asset classes.”
Shares in Amanat finished unchanged yesterday at 1.26 dirhams.
The deal comes three months after Amanat acquired a 35 percent stake in the UAE’s Abu Dhabi University Holding Company for 320.4 million dirhams.
The UAE’s education market is expected to grow to $7.1 billion by 2023 compared with $4.4 billion last year, according to the Boston Consulting Group, on the back of rising private school enrolments and an increase in school fees.
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