MANILA – The education arm of PHINMA Corp is looking to acquire schools and new ventures ahead of a planned listing in the Philippine Stock Exchange in the next three years.
In a briefing on Thursday, PHINMA Education chief financial officer Daisy Montinola said the company is willing to spend up to P3 billion to buy a school catering to the middle-income market in Metro Manila or Cebu.
Another P500 million will be allocated to purchase a school serving the lower-income markets in Baguio, Bicol, Batangas and Davao, Montinola said.
Funding for these investments may come from the company’s cash and capital infusion from its parent firm, she added.
PHINMA Education, which accounts for 60 percent of the conglomerate’s bottom line, sees sustained growth in the coming years even as the enhanced Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) reform program starts hitting its tertiary business in 2016, said Chito Salazar, the company’s president.
PHINMA Education’s profit is expected to reach P200 million in the fiscal year 2014- 2015, up by a quarter from P160 million last year. Revenues are projected to hit P1 billion, an increase of nearly 20 percent year-on-year.
“Two years ago, we planned on what to do regarding K-12. With the additional investments in the senior high school business model, it will bring in added revenues and net income to the group,” Montinola said.
With the implementation of the K-12 program in the school year 2012-2013, fourth year high school students will be moving on to senior high school instead of going to college by 2016, leaving many colleges and universities without freshmen enrollees.
In order to adjust to changes in the Philippine educational system, the company’s network of tertiary schools consisting of Araullo University, Cagayan de Oro College, University of Pangasinan and University of Iloilo will start offering senior high school by 2016.
By that time, PHINMA Education will also open three campuses called Career Academy Asia (CAA), a senior high school focusing on specialized programs such as fashion design, graphic design and hospitality. CCA will have campuses in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.
PHINMA Education is partnering with Singapore-based firms SDH Institute and First Media Design School for CCA.
Even as the company pursues new growth drivers, PHINMA Education is continuously investing in its tertiary schools, with up to P150 million earmarked for the expansion of the University of Pangasinan in Urdaneta City to add 500 students to its network.
University of Iloilo is also in talks with one of the country’s leading hospital brands to offer allied health science program.
A listing in the local course is within the horizon with PHINMA Education expected to go public in 2017, Salazar said.
PHINMA is also engaged in the businesses of energy, housing, hotels, steel manufacturing and strategic consulting.