VENTURES: Curro Aims To Buckle The School Belt
Recent Western Cape Business News
CURRO HOLDINGS, the Stellenbosch-based private education business controlled by PSG, is building a formidable presence in the Western Cape. But can the fast growing company sneak into the ‘tight’ Cape Town southern suburbs school belt?
To date Curro has opened campuses in Langebaan, Hermanus, Durbanville and Mossel Bay. A fifth Western Cape campus is about to get underway at Century City – perhaps, some observers believe, the closest Curro will come to taking a tilt at the traditional Cape Town school market.
Curro – using its more affordable Meridian brand, also intends opening a Meridian College in Pinehurst (near Kraaifontein) next year.
While Curro has largely concentrated its schools in areas outside the larger metropolitan areas (which often are under-serviced in education services), there are persistent rumours that Curro is targeting the Cape Town southern suburbs school belt.
If gossip is to be believed, Curro has already identified a piece of land large enough to accommodate a private school campus in the heart of the leafy southern suburbs between Rondebosch and Claremont.
Apparently all that stands in Curro’s way of announcing plans to develop a southern suburbs campus is sorting out regulatory issues with the Cape Town City Council.
A Curro school nestled between the traditional upmarket schools of Bishops, Rondebosch and Sacs would be a major brand building coup for the company. The Reddam campus in Steenberg has already proven that a well positioned private school can be very lucrative.
Presumably securing land in the affluent Southern Suburbs sprawl will cost a pretty penny – but fortunately Curro has recently raised some R480 million in fresh capital via a rights issue.
Also Curro’s balance sheet shows it is not afraid to own real estate with some R890m in ‘school property’ already listed on the balance sheet.
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