Private education companies — the star performers on the JSE in recent years — have been strictly marked down over the past 12 months as the market reassesses their respective (l)earning curves. AdvTech, the mainstay of the education sector, has lost about 22% of its value over the past 12 months, while private school juggernaut Curro Holdings is down about 25% (and an astounding 44% over three years). Stadio, the fledgling tertiary education business spun out of Curro in 2017, has been smacked down nearly 40% over 12 months and is down 60% from its 878c high in November 2017. While AdvTech — which listed way back in 1987 and is headed by Roy Douglas — is the sector stalwart, it really has been PSG-controlled Curro that has spurred sentiment for private education ventures with the rapid rollout of its school network. In the not-too-distant past Curro’s share price was trading at a multiple of more than 100 times its earnings, based on the market’s faith that the fast-growing private...

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