AN OUTSIDE view of Creston College, one of KZNs top-performing schools.
DURBAN -  JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is continuing with its growth ambitions nearly 16 months after it unbundled its tertiary arm, Stadio Holdings, in October 2017. 

Curro recently announced the acquisition of Creston College, the KwaZulu-Natal-based independent school, for an undisclosed amount.  

The group said the acquisition broadened Curro’s footprint across southern Africa, while the brand continued with the mission of widening access to quality education throughout the region.

Curro chief executive Andries Greyling said the addition of Creston College broadened its presence in the province.

“We, as a brand, offer an independent education space where pupils can flourish and become leaders. We are looking forward to seeing Creston College grow even further under our banner as we welcome the school into the Curro family,” Greyling said. 

The group said Creston College was one of the best-performing schools in the province and an the independent school of choice for the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast feeder area.

Creston College accommodates 471 pupils and provides co-ed education from pre-primary to Grade 12, with a competitive sport offering.

“Creston will form part of Curro Holdings’ Select school model. 

Set on 13ha of prime land, the campus has a well-established reputation in the academic and sporting arenas, emerging as one of the top-performing schools in KwaZulu-Natal every year,” the group said. 

Curro’s acquisition spree also targets other provinces as its acquisition of Cooper College and Magic Beings Pre-Primary School in April last year testifies. Cooper College is in Randburg, Gauteng. 

Last year it also entered Botswana to acquire Baobab School, a leading primary school with a 27-year history and 750 pupils in Gaborone.

Curro listed on the JSE in 2011 and has developed an appetite for acquisitions. 

The group has been clear about its growth ambitions, saying it remained on the lookout for possible acquisitions. 

It has set itself a target of owning 80 independent schools by 2020 that will accommodate 80 000 pupils.

Backed by a strong investor in the form of the PSG Group, Curro invested more than R2.3 billion last year as it upgraded existing campuses and made funds available for potential acquisitions. 

The investments have contributed positively in its financial results as the group reported double digit growth in its headline earnings last year. 

In the year to end-June results, Curro reported a 22% increase in headline earnings to R138 million, up from R113m, while headline earnings per share also increased by 22% to 33.6c a share, up from 27.6c. 

- BUSINESS REPORT