Picture: 123RF/VITEE THUMB
Picture: 123RF/VITEE THUMB

Private higher education group Stadio says it will proceed with consolidating three of its businesses under its brand name in November, a move which offers long-term benefits in terms of marketing and pooled resources.

Stadio is valued at about R1.3bn on the JSE, and its ultimate aim is to create large, multi-faculty campuses offering a wide range of programmes under a single brand.

The consolidation comes at a short-term cost, however, with the group writing down the value of some of its trademarks by R60m during its half year to end-June.

From the beginning of November, the Southern Business School, fashion school Lisof and the Prestige Academy will be transferred into a single registered higher education institution, Stadio Holdings, following approval from the department of higher education and training on October 26.

Following the business transfer, the Stadio group will own and operate three registered higher education institutions, namely Stadio, Milpark Education and AFDA.

The group had intended for Milpark to be consolidated as well, but said recently it had opted to exclude this business due to its reliance on corporate clients, and therefore a need for a higher BEE rating. It also plans to include AFDA as well, but this will be phased in over a period of time.

Stadio was spun out of education group Curro in October 2017 and has grown rapidly from 12,976 students then to 33,856 as at the end of August. The group is targeting 56,000 students by 2026, with the ultimate goal of more than 100,000 students.

Stadio said recently that while Covid-19 had boosted the attractiveness of distance learning, the group had to pause the development of its greenfield site in Centurion due to the pandemic, which would delay its opening until early 2022.

The facility is slated to be a multi-faculty campus, allowing for the pooling of resources, and able to accommodate about 4,000 students.

The group has already spent R155m developing the site, which was originally slated to open in early 2021. The group has also acquired land in Durbanville in the Western Cape for another multi-faculty campus.

In afternoon trade on Tuesday, Stadio’s share was down 5.49% to R1.55, having fallen 22.5% so far in 2020.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za

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