We have groomed KDU and brought it to where it is with its strong numbers and performance, says Paramount CEO
By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
The KDU Penang University College Campus in Batu Kawan, Penang, is expected to complete its development by next year and begin operations in 2020.
Paramount Corp Bhd CEO Jeffrey Chew (picture) said, however, there are still pending approval requests regarding the agreements for land transfer deals the group has entered into.
“We have groomed KDU and brought it to where it is with its strong numbers and performance…and we have seen the birth of two new campuses — Utropolis Glenmarie Campus and KDU Batu Kawan,” he said at the signing ceremony of partnership between Paramount Corp and University of Wollongong (UOW) last Monday.
Through an asset securitisation proposal announced on Oct 25, Chew said KDU University College and KDU Penang University College would dispose of their university campus properties worth RM420 million and subsequently lease back these properties.
“We are still drafting the agreement on the leasing terms with UOW and we expect to finalise the terms soon.
“The completion for the partnership agreement will also require a three months’ period,” he added.
The RM38.5 million worth of strategic partnership with the Australian public university involves the university’s wholly owned unit, UOW Global Enterprises.
The unit would take up 65% shares in the business and operations of KDU University College and KDU Penang University College, alongside 70% shares in KDU College.
The unit has also set up a Malaysian company, UOWM Sdn Bhd, to carry out the transaction.
Chew said the strategic partnership is a catalyst to elevate KDU in an increasingly competitive market.
“UOW brings higher education expertise from Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai while Paramount’s experience and presence in Malaysia, combined with our strong management skills and brand credibility, would be a powerful combination,” he said.
He added that the partnership would also mean access to research findings, a network of business mentors, industry leaders and industry innovation by Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Australia is popular among Malaysians for its tertiary education, so the entry of a highly respected university is positive.
“We also expect UOW’s entrance to enhance Penang as an edu-tourism destination as only less than 1% of the 105,000 foreign students in private higher education institutions in Malaysia (2017) are located in Penang,” he said.