SA company stake in Makini Schools rises to 94 percent



Students at Makini School. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

South African private education group Advtech raised its stake in Makini Schools to 94 percent last year from 90 percent previously and introduced the Cambridge International Curriculum to complement the local syllabus.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed firm has progressively raised its direct and indirect stake in the school, which currently operates seven facilities in Nairobi and Kisumu.

Advtech, which disclosed the higher stake in its 2021 annual report, initially took up a 71 percent stake in Makini in 2018 after buying out the founder Mary Okelo for a consideration of 130.8 million rand (Sh967 million).

In the subsequent years, Advtech has been raising its stake in the school, raising its ownership in 2019 to 77 percent and then 90 percent in 2020.

Advtech also disclosed that Makini’s financial performance has recovered after the full reopening of schools from the beginning of 2021 and the resumption of in-person learning.

Advtech posted a four per cent drop in revenues from the region to Sh1.4 billion in 2020 on the back of reduced fees income following the closure of Makini School during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Makini Schools in Kenya has returned to profitability following the significant losses incurred owing to Covid-19 disruptions in the previous year. The Cambridge International Curriculum is now being offered in addition to the national curriculum, owing to strong demand,” said Advtech in the annual report.

Last year, Advtech’s total revenue went up by eight percent to 5.9 billion rand (Sh43.1 billion).

Advtech’s other Kenyan institution, Crawford International School, which uses the Cambridge curriculum, was not as affected as Makini by the 2020 schools’ closure.

Besides Kenya and South Africa, Advtech operates high-end schools and tertiary institutions in Uganda and Botswana among other countries in Africa.

It is part of a growing list of institutional investors in Kenya’s private education cashing in on high demand for quality schooling from local wealthy and middle-class families and expatriates working for multinationals, foreign governments and global institutions.

The top-of-the-range schools charge annual fees of between Sh200,000 and Sh600,000 for day scholars while those in boarding schools pay up to Sh1.7 million a year.

They include the German School, International School of Kenya, Potterhouse School, Braeburn, Rosslyn Academy, Kenton, Greensteds international school in Nakuru and St Andrews Turi.

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