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Johannesburg - Shares of private schools group Curro Holdings fall to a five-month low, as its shares start trading without the right to participate in its cash call and with the announcement of its latest acquisition.

The company is raising nearly 590 million rand in a rights issue to repay debt in the short term. It also plans to raise up to 1 billion rand in either bonds or long term bank funding this year.

Curro also says it is purchasing the 1,200-student Waterstone College in Johannesburg, the latest in an aggressive expansion plan. It did not disclose the purchase amount.

Curro has 31 private schools with some 28,000 students and is constructing 10 new schools, scheduled to open at the start of 2015.

The company says it is also in the process of acquiring 20 other sites for future schools.

“With these schools under construction and opportunities for further acquisitions always in the offing, Curro is now well poised to reach its initial undertaking ... of 40 schools by 2020, five years ahead of schedule,” Curro says in a regulatory filing.

Its shares are down 5.6 percent at 28.03 rand, its lowest since early January. - Reuters