Nairobi, 17 January 2023
Nova Pioneer and Heri PLC (“Heri”) are pleased to have received merger approval from the Competition Authority of Kenya (“CAK”) for our proposed property financing partnership. This partnership will strengthen and enhance Nova Pioneer’s facilities as well as enable the expansion of Nova Pioneer’s educational mission, and the CAK’s approval is an important step towards its completion. It is a sale and leaseback property financing partnership, limited to the acquisition and development of physical properties, and does not relate to the school operations. The Nova Pioneer schools remain wholly owned and operated by Nova Pioneer Kenya Limited (“Nova Pioneer Kenya”).
Nova Pioneer is a pan-African school group that operates 15 schools in Kenya and South Africa, educating children in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. It was founded with a mission to develop generations of innovators and leaders who will shape the African Century. In service of that mission, it emphasises excellent academics, holistic character development, strong school culture, and a unique Innovation & Leadership curriculum. Nova Pioneer also supports its students and graduates with Africa’s leading Post School Success programme, which enables students to plan and prepare for their university and post-secondary careers.
Heri is a diversified investment and management company incorporated in 1974 that seeks to build long-term shareholder value by originating, financing and managing equity and debt investments in strategic real estate sectors where demand and supply intersect sustainably. Through the CAK approved transaction, Heri Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heri, would acquire a 100% stake in the property entity that holds Nova Pioneer’s Tatu Boys and Girls Secondary Schools property assets for an undisclosed sum. The bulk of proceeds from the transaction will go towards settling debt financing currently in place on those properties, with the balance supporting and expanding Nova Pioneer’s operations. This transaction is part of a broader partnership that includes similar sale and lease back transactions with other Nova Pioneer Nairobi-based schools. Nova Pioneer Kenya will continue to operate its schools within those premises under long-term leases.
Nova Pioneer’s co-founders, CEO Chinezi Chijioke, and director Christopher Khaemba, expressed their enthusiasm about the positive impact that partnering with Heri will have for their families and mission of growth. “We are proud to be partnering with Heri, which shares our commitment to expanding access to exceptional 21st century education across Kenya, and East Africa,” said Mr. Chijioke. “This transaction will strengthen the financing of our school facilities and opens the door to further programme and network development. We are excited about that” Mr. Khaemba added that. “Nova Pioneer was founded with a very clear vision of education for Kenya. We remain committed to that vision and our partnership with Heri will advance this further”
James Kaniaru, CEO of Heri, added, “We are thrilled by the opportunity to partner with Nova Pioneer and their experienced team in facilitating the next step in the growth of this remarkable business through this sale and leaseback transaction. At Heri, we seek to invest in compelling real estate opportunities driven by strong operating partners who share our vision and values for creating sustainable impact in the communities in which we operate. Nova Pioneer is a leading school network in East Africa with an unparalleled and unique approach to teaching that focuses on developing innovators and leaders, an aspect that inspired us to partner with them”