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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Amanat acquires assets from North London Collegiate School in Dubai

Company says it concluded the Dh360m sale-and-leaseback deal with PNC Investments

"Investing in the GCC’s K-12 private education market is highly attractive; especially in the UAE, where expatriate families, a young population and growing interest from middle and higher income citizens are expected to increase demand for private school enrolment,” Shamsheer Vayalil, vice-chairman and managing director of Amanat says.  Pawan Singh / The National
"Investing in the GCC’s K-12 private education market is highly attractive; especially in the UAE, where expatriate families, a young population and growing interest from middle and higher income citizens are expected to increase demand for private school enrolment,” Shamsheer Vayalil, vice-chairman and managing director of Amanat says.  Pawan Singh / The National

Amanat Holdings, a Dubai-based investment company focused on healthcare and education, on Wednesday said it acquired the real estate assets of North London Collegiate School (NLCS) in Dubai, in a sale-and-leaseback deal worth Dh360 million.

Amanat purchased the assets from PNC Investments, the parent company of UAE-based real estate developer Sobha Group, Amanat said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded. Amanat has also committed Dh45m towards the future expansion plans of the school, it said.

“This acquisition is in line with our corporate strategy to broaden our capabilities while building on Amanat’s strong sector expertise in healthcare and education,” said Hamad Abdulla Alshamsi, chairman of Amanat.

“It is the first social infrastructure transaction for Amanat and we are confident it will allow us to enhance returns for shareholders.”

NLCS is an international day school in Edgware, London, that follows the Baccalaureate curriculum. NLCS Dubai is its second overseas campus, located on a 38,000 square meter plot in the Sobha Hartland development in Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, close to Downtown Dubai.

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Read more:

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The campus comprises eight science laboratories, a performing arts centre, sporting facilities including tennis courts, a cricket and rugby field and two indoor swimming pools.

Investment companies and private equity firms are increasingly targeting assets in the healthcare and education sectors – considered high-growth segments as the region’s population witnesses rapid growth.

“Investing in the GCC’s K-12 private education market is highly attractive; especially in the UAE, where expatriate families, a young population and growing interest from middle and higher income citizens are expected to increase demand for private school enrolment,” Shamsheer Vayalil, vice-chairman and managing director of Amanat, said in the statement.

“By entering into a sale and leaseback of NLCS Dubai, Amanat is investing in a high-quality asset that will generate long-term, secure cash flows and balance our portfolio across a diverse range of asset classes.”

Amanat’s portfolio is about equally split between health care and education sectors, with approximately half of those investments in Saudi Arabia and remaining in the UAE.

In April the company announced its intention to grow investment its activities in education and healthcare, with plans to expand its footprint beyond the Arabian Gulf after posting a 10 per cent increase in full-year 2017 net profit in February, boosted by income from associated businesses.

On Sunday, Amanat agreed to purchase ailing private equity firm Abraaj Group’s stake in Middlesex University’s Dubai campus for a reported $100m (Dh367m), according to a Bloomberg report. The UAE-based Abraaj is undergoing a court-supervised restructuring in the Cayman Islands, where it is registered.

Under an initial agreement between the two parties, which has yet to complete, Amanat would own all of the UK-based university’s campus.