CALGARY, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ – Edleun Group, Inc. (TSX-V-EDU) (“Edleun” or the “Company“), the leading consolidator and developer of Early Learning & Care centres in Canada announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire five additional centres in Alberta and British Columbia.
“We continue to execute on consolidation opportunities in the southern Alberta and BC markets,” said Leslie Wulf, Chief Executive Officer of Edleun. “Our goal of establishing Edleun as the leading brand in our core markets serves to enhance the visibility of the Company and its delivery of high quality Early Learning & Care. At the same time, clustering of the Company’s centres helps us achieve operating efficiencies and economies of scale.”
Edleun is purchasing three operating child care centres as well as the underlying real estate from a single vendor for $5.3 million. Two of the centres are located in the city of Calgary while the third is located in Okotoks, a community south of Calgary. Upon closing, the acquisition of the three centres will add 266 licensed spaces to the Company’s growing portfolio.
The Company is also purchasing a single operating child care centre along with the underlying real estate in Airdrie, located just north of Calgary, for $900,000. Upon closing, this centre will add 70 licensed spaces to the Company’s portfolio.
In addition, Edleun is purchasing an operating child care centre in Vernon, BC for $300,000. Related thereto, the Company will enter into a long term lease commitment that will provide Edleun with a right of first refusal to purchase the underlying real estate. This acquisition will add 85 licensed childcare spaces to the Company’s portfolio.
As with all acquisitions made by the Company, these child care centres will undergo a full remodeling and upgrading process as well as the implementation of Edleun’s operating procedures, systems of quality control, education curriculum and nutritionally-certified meal programs. This strategy has proven to be very successful, well received by the families the Company serves, and has greatly improved occupancy and operating performance within centres in the Company’s remodeled portfolio. Previous quarterly reports have indicated that the company’s strategy has contributed significantly to improved margins and enhanced profitability.
“Since Edleun’s growth from inception achieved positive Adjusted Funds from Operations in the first quarter of 2011, fully covering our corporate overhead and general and administration expenses, we expect that these acquisitions which are being completed on favorable financial terms will be highly accretive to the company’s profitability and cash flow,” said Dale Kearns, Edleun’s Chief Financial Officer.
Edleun currently owns and operates 29 child care centres and has agreements in principle, including the foregoing, to acquire, redevelop or build an additional 10 child care centres in Alberta and BC.
In total, the new acquisitions announced today will add 421 licensed child care spaces to the Company’s portfolio representing an increase of 12.3%. This brings the total, including centres owned and transactions previously announced to acquire, redevelop or build new centres, to 3,801 licensed spaces in 39 Early Learning & Care centres.
The Company will complete these acquisitions utilizing its available cash resources. Closings of these acquisitions are scheduled to occur in the near future, and are subject to certain conditions precedent. There can be no assurance that the acquisitions will be completed, or if completed, what the final terms will be.
The Company also announced today that it has completed the redevelopment of a property located in north west Calgary that was acquired in early July 2011 for a purchase price of $830,000 into a child care centre. This newly-remodeled centre, Highland Learning Centre, offers 75 new licensed child care spaces and is located in a gentrified area of the city that is particularly underserved.
“The redevelopment and opening of the Highland Learning Centre together with the previously announced new “state of the art” Early Learning & Care centres under development in Lake Chestermere and Mackenzie Towne, and the additional redevelopment and new developments in process and in our pipeline, are beginning to address the significant shortage in available child care spaces in Canada,” said Leslie Wulf. “Moreover, our commitment to the renovation and remodeling of child care centres subsequent to acquisition will have a meaningful impact on the quality of Early Learning & Care centres across Canada. We are pleased that we are able to serve Canadian families by being at the forefront of creating new licensed child care spaces to address this need and at the same time providing high quality and attractive environments for children that offer industry leading educational curriculum, programming and nutritional meal programs.”
About Edleun Group, Inc.
Edleun is the leading provider of high-quality, Early Learning & Care in Canada. The Company is committed to providing children, families and employers with access to, and choice of, quality early childhood education programs, helping Canadians balance their work and family lives.
The Company’s objectives include the acquisition and improvement of existing child care centres and development of new child care centres across Canada. Edleun is also pursuing the development of new “state of the art” Early Learning & Care centres in a number of Alberta and British Columbia residential communities which are currently underserved.
Certain statements in this Release which are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward-looking statements”). Any statements related to Edleun’s projected revenues, earnings, growth rates, revenue mix, staffing and resources, and product plans are forward looking statements as are any statements relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. The use of terms such as “believes”, “anticipated”, “expected”, “projected”, “targeting”, “estimate”, “intend” and similar terms are intended to assist in identification of these forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are not promises or guarantees of future performance and involve both known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance, achievements or developments of Edleun to differ materially from the results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions. Except as required by law, Edleun does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.
The Company undertakes no obligation, except as required by law, to update publicly or otherwise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, or the above list of factors affecting this information. Many factors could cause the actual results of Edleun to differ materially from the results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.