Caixin
Jan 08, 2018 02:30 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

New Shares Net TAL Education $500 Million

Teaching services provider TAL Education Group said it will raise $500 million by selling new shares to an investor, amid a broader surge of interest in offshore-listed education stocks.

New York-listed TAL said the new shares, combined with the investor’s existing holdings, would bring the investor’s stake to 5% of the company, according to an announcement issued after markets closed at the end of last week. TAL did not provide the investor’s name.

TAL shareholders which currently hold between 2% and 5% of the shares include Blackrock Inc., Tiger Global Management LLC and Greenwoods Asset Management Ltd. The Vanguard International Growth Fund also holds 3.7%, according to Yahoo Finance. TAL said the investor has agreed not to sell any of the newly issued shares for at least six months.

The deal comes as China education stocks enjoy renewed interest among overseas investors, who are betting on demand for an increasingly sophisticated array of offerings that link Chinese students with instructors over the internet. Investors are also bullish on the growing role that private education services providers can play in bridging a gap where public services aren’t available, said Ryan Roberts, an analyst at MCM Partners.

“The education system in China is a bit outdated, and applying some of the big data and analytics to the problem can hopefully provide the shot in the arm the sector needs to deliver the kind of talent needed for the next phase of economic growth,” he said.

One of the latest private education companies to come to market is Rise Education Cayman Ltd., whose shares initially sagged after its October initial public offering (IPO) that raised $160 million. But the stock has gained about 50% since late November, and now trades slightly above its IPO price. Older offshore-listed Chinese education firms including New Oriental Education, China Maple Leaf Education and China YuHua Education have performed even better, roughly doubling over the past year.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

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