Christie & Co sees growing interest in global childcare opportunities despite Covid-19
Despite the global impact of Covid-19, there are still plenty of opportunities to acquire or sell international childcare groups according to specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co.
Private or independent education has long had its place in Asia, and Western educational organisations are increasingly keen to expand their businesses. B-S-J-Z (China) topped the PISA education rankings in 2018 and Singapore topped the PISA education rankings in 2016. With education being so highly valued across Asia,
Christie & Co is working with multiple providers and investors seeking to grow their business, create new partnerships, and develop new early years settings and educational provision across Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar.
In 2016, China’s new-born population reached its highest level since 2000, the first year of the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy. A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics of China estimated that the new-born population in 2016 amounted to 17.86 million and, as demand for day nurseries rose, China found itself in severe shortage and able to provide just four per cent of infants aged between zero and three years with formal childcare services. These findings consequently led to significant demand in the creation of new day nursery facilities.
Christie & Co has recently been appointed by the shareholders of a PRC Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) to be the sole selling agent for three nurseries in Guangdong Province, China. The portfolio comprises three English Pre-School Nurseries with beautifully purpose designed facilities, and a total operating capacity of 226 places. The settings have a rich UK heritage, and each could command premium fees. This sale offers great investment opportunities for both domestic and international buyers alike, as all of the nurseries are located within a two-hour drive of the Shenzhen border, providing easy access to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) which connects circa 220 countries via 120 global flight carriers.
Courteney Donaldson, Managing Director of Childcare & Education at Christie & Co, comments, “Despite the global impact of Covid-19, we are still being approached by worldwide groups looking to sell, and by global buyers with an interest in both the UK market and international portfolio acquisitions. During Q1 2020, we saw an increase in projects associated to European portfolios, with countries of greatest interest to investors being France and Germany. During Q2 2020, alongside ongoing European projects, we saw a notable increase in markets appraisals and dialogue associated to ECEC Assets in Australia, Asia and China.
“While interest associated to global ECEC opportunities, acquisitions and investments has undoubtedly gained pace, country border restrictions, due to Covid-19, has in many cases impacted on physical setting visits. However, we have seen collaboration between investors, vendors, and perspective inquiries which have transitioned smoothly to management collaborations via Zoom meetings and setting viewings being conducted by virtual video tours. We are delighted to be sponsoring the World Forum on Early Care and Education 2021, the event which was scheduled to take place in Vancouver is now taking advantage of the same technology by moving the 2021 event online with an exciting virtual world tour.
“Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, conversations with perspective vendors and investors alike associated to ongoing appraisals of global market conditions have continued across the global early years sector.”
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