British education group with new school in Lam Tin eyes US listing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 10:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 December, 2013, 4:21am

The mother company of Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong is considering an initial public offering in New York, a source familiar with the matter has revealed.

The information has sparked criticism about government procedures for approving the application of the British school operator, Nord Anglia Education, which was in April granted the right to run an international school on government land in Lam Tin at a subsidised rate.

It is understood the education group is considering a New York listing, according to the source. But he ruled out the possibility of an IPO on the Hong Kong stock market, a local Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.

"No decision has yet been made [on when to announce the details]," the source said, adding that the valuation of the listing was also not yet known.

Nord Anglia Education spokesman Richard Barton declined to comment. The group is controlled by investment firm Baring Private Equity.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen said the group, as a private company, had the right to opt for an IPO, but that the move violated the conditions of granting government land to run an international school.

"The Education Bureau has to explain whether they knew of such a plan when approving the application," Ip said, adding that he would follow up with the bureau on the matter.

Civic Party lawmaker Kenneth Chan Ka-lok urged the government to review its policy of granting land to private education organisations.

The school, which will open in September, is conducting admissions for pupils aged between five and 12 until this Saturday.

Nord Anglia Education runs 27 schools worldwide, offering England's national curriculum.