What to Watch For in the Bright Scholar IPO

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Bright Scholar Education Holdings has filed an amended F-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). The company expects to go public on Thursday.

The company priced its 15 million American depositary shares (ADSs) at $10.50 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 2.25 million ADSs. Each ADS represents one ordinary share. At this price, the entire offering is valued up to $181.13 million. The company intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BEDU.

The underwriters for the offering are Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, China Merchants Securities and BNP Paribas.

This is the largest operator of international and bilingual K-12 schools in China in terms of student enrollment as of September 1, 2016, according to the Frost & Sullivan report. The firm is dedicated to providing quality international education to Chinese students to succeed in the pursuit of higher education overseas. It also complements the international offerings with Chinese government-mandated curriculum for students who wish to maintain the option of pursuing higher education in China.

Bright Scholar established one of the first private schools in China in 1994 and has since expanded its network to operate 51 schools as of February 28, 2017, covering the breadth of K-12 academic needs of its students across seven provinces in China.

In the first half of the 2017 school year, Bright Scholar had an average of 29,230 students enrolled at its schools, representing an increase of 54.6% from an average of 18,913 students enrolled during the 2014 school year. Bright Scholar Holdings, the ultimate Cayman Islands holding company, does not have any substantive operations other than indirectly controlling BGY Education Investment Management.

In the filing the company described its finances as follows:

We have experienced substantial growth in recent years. Our revenue increased from RMB588.2 million in the 2014 fiscal year to RMB745.9 million in the 2015 fiscal year and further to RMB1,040.3 million (US$151.5 million) in the 2016 fiscal year, representing a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 33.0%. Our revenue increased from RMB503.7 million in the six months ended February 29, 2016 to RMB646.2 million (US$94.1 million) in the six months ended February 28, 2017, representing an increase of 28.3%.

The company intends to use the net proceeds to launch new schools and for brand promotion, curriculum development and general corporate purposes.