Myanmar Strategic Holdings in JV to operate Yangon private school

Myanmar Strategic Holdings (MSH) and Auston Institute of Management have formed a joint venture to set up and operate a private school in Yangon, according to an April 6 announcement by MSH, which is listed in London.

As part of the agreement, MSH will provide the required funding, which is estimated to be around half a million dollars, for the private educational institution, while Auston will contribute the industry knowledge, curriculum and management capabilities.

MSH, which is funding the initial capital contribution from its existing cash resources, will hold a 70 percent stake in the JV with the remaining 30pc being held by Auston.

Auston is an operator of private schools in Singapore and Sri Lanka preparing students for careers in engineering, information technology and project management. To-date, it has enrolled around 5,000 students.

The institution, which will be named Auston College Myanmar, will be located in the Junction Square complex, spanning three floors and covering 700 square meters. Operations are expected to commence next month.

The initial curriculum will include the Diploma in Engineering Technology, Diploma in Construction Project Management and Diploma in Networking, Information Systems and Security.

Auston is targeting 150 students in its first year. Over the longer term, it is expecting 400 students to enroll in its courses.

The JV will also explore opportunities to expand to additional locations in Mandalay and other domestic hubs across Myanmar over the next five years.

“The joint venture allows us to bring higher quality education to Myanmar and further grow our education platform in the country,” MSH CEO Enrico Cesenni said in a statement.

Growing portfolio

MSH is headquartered in Singapore and Yangon and listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is headed by Mr Cesenni, a former investment banker and now the largest shareholder of the company.

MSH first invested in the Myanmar hospitality market in August 2014 with the acquisition of the development and management rights of Ostello Bello Bagan, a boutique budget hotel located in Bagan. Its portfolio has since expanded to include three more Ostello Bello hotels in Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.

In 2016, MSH diversified into the education market by acquiring rights from the UK’s Pearson Education to open its Wall Street English language centers for adults in Myanmar. It has since opened two such centers in Yangon. The schools now have 1,000 students in total.

Moving forward, MSH intends to open a new English language center in Myanmar every year, according to Mr Cesseni during an interview with The Myanmar Times earlier this year.

It is also planning to grow its portfolio by adding 2-3 new hotels every year as well as partnering with operators to develop the tourism sector, such as introducing new activities and tours, Mr Cesseni said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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