6 April 2018
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd.
("MSH" or the "Company" or the "Group")
Joint Venture with Auston Institute of Management
Opening of a Private Educational Institution in Yangon
Myanmar Strategic Holdings (LSE: SHWE), an independent developer and operator of consumer businesses in Myanmar, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is pleased to announce that it has formed a joint venture ("JV") with Auston Institute of Management ("Auston"), an operator of private schools in Singapore and Sri Lanka that prepares students for careers in Engineering, IT Technology and Project Management through higher education learning. Under the JV, MSH and Auston will set-up and operate a private school in Yangon. The incorporated joint venture company will trade under the name of MS Auston Pte. Ltd. ("MSA").
As part of the joint venture agreement, entered into on 6 April 2018, MSH will provide the required funding (estimated to be in the region of US$500,000) for the first private educational institution, while Auston will contribute the industry knowledge, curriculum and management capabilities. Following the initial capital contribution, MSH will hold a 70% stake in the JV with the remaining 30% being held by Auston. MSH will fund the initial capital contribution from its existing cash resources.
The institution, named Auston College Myanmar will be located in the Junction Square complex, in close proximity to the Company's flagship Wall Street English centre which opened in February 2017 and that now has over 800 students. It will span three floors and cover 700 square metres. The location is easily accessible via existing infrastructure and the business will offer students access to a first-rate education in-line with international standards.
Management intends to commence operations in May 2018 and Auston College Myanmar will initially offer the following curriculum: (i) Diploma in Engineering Technology, (ii) Diploma in Construction Project Management and (iii) Diploma in Networking, Information Systems, and Security. For the first year, Auston intends to enrol up to 150 students. At run-rate, management expects to serve up to 400 students. English language learning will also be provided by the Company's nearby Wall Street English centre.
The JV will also explore opportunities to expand to additional locations in Mandalay and other domestic hubs across Myanmar over the next five years.
Commenting on the JV, Enrico Cesenni, CEO of MSH, said:
"We are very pleased to initiate this strategic partnership with Auston and its founding team, Michael Lin and Cecil Lim. Over the years, Auston has established itself in Singapore and Sri Lanka as a leading provider of private education, to-date educating over 5,000 students. The joint venture allows us to bring higher quality education to Myanmar and further grow our education platform in the country, whilst also generating synergies with our existing Wall Street English franchise."
Commenting on the opening, Michael Lin, CEO of Auston Institute of Management, said:
"Since its foundation, Auston Singapore has established a strong link with the Myanmar community with an alumni base of over 400 graduates and counting. In MSH we have found a suitable partner, with a strong and reliable commitment to Myanmar, to bring our future-focused technology education to the Myanmar market. Auston Singapore is ecstatic to further develop its deep bond with the Myanmar community by setting up the first Auston Myanmar campus in Yangon to help prepare the next generation of engineering and technology experts to lead this country into the future."
Chairman of the Board
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd.
Broker: Allenby Capital Limited
Nick Athanas / Nick Naylor / Nick Chambers
+44 20 3328 5656
PR Agency: Yellow Jersey
Georgia Colkin / Joe Burgess
+44 (0)203 735 8825
Further information can be obtained from the company's website www.ms-holdings.com
About Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd. is an independent developer and operator of consumer businesses located in Myanmar, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Initially concentrating on Hospitality and Education, the Company intends to focus on the broader consumer sector in Myanmar as it grows.
The Company's earliest investments have been in the Hospitality sector - through its portfolio the Company manages over 474 beds across 4 boutique hostels in 3 core tourist locations across Myanmar operating under the award winning Ostello Bello budget hospitality brand. It operates an asset light strategy, entering into long-term operating and management agreements with local hostel owners.
Within its Education division, the Company currently has exclusive development and franchising agreements with Pearson for 10 Wall Street English language centres across Myanmar within the next 10 years. Two centres were opened in 2017, serving over 1,000 students as of February 2018. The Company also operates MSA, a joint venture alongside Auston Institute of Management, to offer vocational courses in Engineering, Information Technology and Management through private institutions. MSA's first institution, Auston College Myanmar, is due to open in May 2018 and it is exploring opportunities to expand to additional locations in Mandalay and other regional hubs over the next five years.
Myanmar is currently the 4th fastest growing (as of March 2017) and one of the most promising economies within Asia Pacific. Its annual GDP growth is expected to stand at 8.0% in 2018 (Source: Asian Development Bank), making it one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world, whilst the number of middle class consumers in Myanmar is also expected to double by 2020.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings is well positioned to grant investors early exposure to Myanmar's strong economic fundamentals enhanced by ASEAN's wider growth prospects.
About Auston Institute of Management Pte. Ltd.
Founded in 1996, Auston Institute of Management is a private school that prepares students for careers in Engineering, IT Technology and Project Management through higher education learning. Auston has campuses in Singapore and Sri Lanka and enrols over 400 students each year. Auston in Singapore has developed a strong network in Myanmar with up to 50% of previous intakes in Singapore being students from Myanmar.
Accelerated degree pathway programs, flexible intakes, and first-class teaching have differentiated Auston among other Private Education Institutions ("PEIs") in Singapore. It is also one of the few PEIs in its segment who have achieved the 4-year EduTrust certification. 61% of graduates from Auston Singapore find jobs within six months after completion in the highly competitive Singapore job market. Many of these started careers with industry leaders, such as, Hewlett Packard Pte Ltd, Philips Singapore Pte Ltd, Micron Electronics, Samsung Electronics, etc.
Living standards in Yangon are quickly catching up with its ASEAN peers and people are spending considerably more on Higher Education as they recognise the long-term value of this investment. Auston is a best-in-class operator and sees a unique opportunity to establish a campus in Myanmar.
For more information: https://www.auston.edu.sg/
This information is provided by RNS