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SA firm pulls out of deal to acquire Nova Academies

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Summit is one of many players seeking to join a growing list of institutional investors cashing in on Kenya’s private education sector. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

South African property developer Summit Real Estate Proprietary Limited, which was eyeing full buyout of Nova Academies Tatu City Property Limited — the owner of the elite school brand operating in Kenya as Nova Pioneer — pulled out of the deal in December.

The move would have seen Summit take on Nova’s operations and its two properties located at Tatu City and Athi River.

The Tatu City property includes a boys' and girls secondary school as well as a primary school, while the Athi River facility has a primary school.

While the transaction had received the go ahead from the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), Nova Academies confirmed that Summit Real Estate Proprietary Limited dropped out of the deal last month.

“Summit was exploring providing financial support to expand the Tatu campus but they decided not to do the investment at the end of last year,” Oliver Sabot, Nova co-founder and chief development officer told the Business Daily yesterday.

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Summit is one of many players seeking to join a growing list of institutional investors cashing in on Kenya’s private education sector whose growth has taken off on high demand for quality schools by local wealthy families, the middle class and expatriates working for multinationals.

The firm is a real estate developer with investments in the education and healthcare sectors in South Africa and is looking to venture into other markets in the continent.

“The proposed transaction involves the acquisition of the entire issued share capital in Nova by Summit. The transaction therefore qualified as a merger within the meaning of Section 2 and 41 of the Competition Act No 12 of 2010. 6,” said CAK in the notice published on Wednesday.

“Nova did not have any turnover for the preceding year (2017), but its assets were valued at over Sh1 billion and, therefore, the transaction meets the threshold for full merger analysis as provided in the Merger Threshold Guidelines.”

The regulator said it had given the partners the greenlight to proceed with the deal whose value was not previously disclosed.

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