Beijing/Hong Kong SAR, November 28, 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested HK$74 million (about $9.5 million) in China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Ltd. as a cornerstone investor in the company’s initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The investment will help improve access to quality and affordable bilingual education for mainland Chinese students.
The funds will help Maple Leaf, operator of China’s largest international school network, open 12 new primary and secondary schools across the country and provide an additional about 9,000 school places over the next three years.
“IFC’s participation in our IPO has increased Maple Leaf’s credibility and visibility in the market,” said Maple Leaf Chairman Sherman Jen. “With support from IFC and other investors, we can better tend to the bilingual educational needs of middle-class Chinese families in second and third tier cities.”
Maple Leaf has more than 13,500 students across seven high schools, ten middle schools, nine elementary schools, 12 preschools, and two foreign-national schools in nine Chinese cities including Chongqing, Dalian, Shanghai, and Tianjin. The company will use the raised funds to build new schools in three more cities, namely Xi’an, Yiwu and Pinghu, and to upgrade existing schools as well as to acquire other schools.
While most international schools in China cater largely to expatriate students, Maple Leaf offers an affordable, bilingual diploma program certified by both the Chinese and Canadian Government Educational authorities. More than 90 percent of Maple Leaf’s students are from Chinese families in second and third tier cities and the high-school diplomas they obtain from the school will enable them to apply for both Chinese and international universities.
Vipul Prakash, IFC’s Acting Regional Head for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in Asia Pacific said: “Increasing access to affordable and quality education will ensure a supply of future talent to fill high-value service and innovative jobs that are critical to driving sustainable economic growth in China.”
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in the private-education sector in emerging markets, with 95 investments in 35 countries.
Our active portfolio is $609 million with total commitments of $1.2 billion globally.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit