G8 Education looks to raise $60m

LISTED childcare and education centre operator G8 Education is raising $60.14 million as it looks to expand further after buying 29 new childcare centres across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

The purchase will increase the number of places the company controls by 2,338 and will cement G8 Education's expansion as it capitalises on its status as the only listed childcare centre operator.

The company will pay a total of $42.6m for the centres if they hit earnings targets in the 12 months after the deal settles. The price is based on four times anticipated earnings before interest and tax.

G8 Education managing director Chris Scott, said: "The acquisition of these premium centres is significant to G8 Education's expansion in New South Wales and Victoria and opens the Tasmanian market for future opportunities."

The acquisitions were funded by a $70m senior unsecured note offering made in August. The company's latest $60m placement at $3.10 per share to domestic and international institutions will help it expand further.

The equity offer is being jointly managed by Petra Capital and Canaccord Genuity.

The company, a long day childcare centre operator, operates and manages childcare centres in Australia, as well as running Singaporean-owned and franchised childcare centres.

GEM already had 194 owned childcare centres in Australia as well as 18 owned-and-operated childcare centres and 51 franchised child care centres in Singapore.

The latest deal took GEM's total number of local childcare centres to 210.

GEM's brands include Early Learning Services, World of Learning, Community Kids, Kindy Patch, Headstart, Kinder Haven, Penguin Childcare, Pelican Childcare, Casa Bambini & Little Einsteins.

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