National Bonds becomes largest shareholder in Dubai school operator Taaleem

Sharia-compliant company increases its stake to 22 per cent as it looks to expand its investment portfolio

An artist's impression of one of Taaleem's new schools that will open in the next two years. Photo: Taaleem
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National Bonds, the Sharia-compliant savings and investment company owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, has raised its stake in Dubai school operator Taaleem Holdings to 22 per cent, becoming its largest shareholder.

The company bought an additional 5 per cent stake in Taaleem as part of its “continuous effort to strengthen its presence in the education sector and align with its strategy to invest in vital educational services”, it said on Monday.

The acquisition represents the “largest of its kind” since Taaleem listed on the Dubai Financial Market in November 2022.

“[The] new investment in Taaleem will enhance National Bonds' investment portfolio, enabling sustainable returns that are not significantly influenced by market cycles,” said Mohammed Al Ali, chief executive of National Bonds.

Taaleem Holdings, whose financial year is from September 1 to August 31, reported a 14 per cent increase in its first-quarter profit, driven by higher revenue as enrolment continued to increase across its schools.

Net profit for the three months to the end of November climbed to Dh51 million ($14 million), from Dh44.6 million during the same period last year.

Taaleem, previously known as Madaares, was founded in 2006 by the National Bonds Corporation and other investors.

It operates 26 schools across the UAE, offering British, American and International Baccalaureate curriculums to more than 27,000 pupils.

Dubai-listed Amanat, which specialises in investments across the health and education sectors, sold its entire stake in Taaleem for Dh350 million ($95.3 million) in April 2021.

In November last year, the company raised Dh750 million from its initial public offering, becoming the largest and only dedicated education provider to trade on a stock market in the UAE.

National Bonds' move is aimed at encouraging “other investors to consider seriously the education sector in UAE, opening up more opportunities for investments in the field and supporting the quality of education for future generations”, it said.

Updated: June 05, 2023, 10:08 AM