CIBT Signs Memorandum of Understanding to build GEC Education Mega Center for $230 Million
Vancouver, B.C., September 7th, 2016 – CIBT Education Group Inc. (TSX: MBA, OTCQX International: MBAIF) (“CIBT” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WestStone Group, a leading real estate development company in Western Canada, to construct the GEC Education Mega Center in Surrey, B.C. The project is expected to cost approximately $230 million. The parties plan on finalizing the formal Purchase and Sale Agreement on or before October 31, 2016 while preparations for the development application are underway.
“WestStone has been actively involved in the build-out of Surrey City Centre for well over a decade now”, stated Brian Regehr, President and CEO of the WestStone Group. “We are proud to be building in this city and watching it evolve into British Columbia’s next great Metro Centre. Quite a while ago the City of Surrey adopted the slogan “The Future Lives Here” and it’s so rewarding to see that becoming a reality as Surrey becomes the preeminent centre of economic growth south of the Fraser. In a few more years, Surrey will overtake Vancouver in terms of its population; the momentum is building now and, through its exciting new developments and infrastructure, a true 21st Century city is emerging. Working with CIBT Education Group, we are delighted to be adding an exceptional educational component to the city centre to complement and enhance those already here”.
Many people within the City of Surrey will be very interested to learn that this proposed GEC Education Mega Centre will be built on the Stardust Roller Rink site in the heart of downtown Surrey. The Stardust is etched in the memories of so many Surrey residents as it first started operating in the 1970’s. “I hope that before we take it down, we are able to offer the citizens of Surrey one more chance to have a free skate”, commented Mr. Regehr.
“We are excited to continue our expansion into the education student housing market and are thrilled to be working in conjunction with WestStone Group,” commented Toby Chu, President, CEO and Chairman of CIBT Education Group. “International student enrollment across British Columbia has been growing at an astonishing rate of approximately 25% since 2014 generating over $5 billion in gross income for the province. This is despite the fact that Metro Vancouver not only has some of the most expensive real estate in the country, but also vacancy rates of 0.3% in certain parts of the city forcing students to live in expensive buildings that aren’t necessarily in close proximity to their schools.”
Mr. Chu further stated, “With WestStone’s extensive experience in developing residential and commercial high-rise buildings, the GEC Education Mega Center will create an opportunity for students from across the province to live in affordable, high quality student housing that is central to public transit. As well, we intend to aggregate a variety of schools to create satellite locations on our campus benefiting educators and, more importantly, students. This will be advantageous for students in our province and we are very excited to be bringing this opportunity to them. The GEC Education Mega Center will become a significant revenue generator for the Company and add tremendous value for our shareholders. CIBT will earn a structuring fee that it will use to acquire a 20% equity ownership interest in the Mega Center. CIBT may also increase its cash investment in this project in order to capitalize on the future appreciation of the finished project. As we continue to build value and generate net income from this project, we will continue to look for new opportunities that will benefit our investors.”
About the GEC Education Mega Center (“Mega Center”):
The proposed Mega Center is expected to be an iconic 50-storey high-rise tower, subject to city planning approval.
- The Mega Center site is located at the heart of Surrey city center immediately between Simon Fraser University and future location of Kwantlan Polytechnic University. With Surrey’s state of the art Civic Library and the iconic Surrey City Hall located within one block, along with Surrey Central SkyTrain station and the central bus loop located in front of the Mega Center and the upcoming Light Rail Transit (LRT) system on its doorstep, this is one of the most desirable and convenient locations for students and visitors.
- It is being proposed that the podium of the Mega Center (levels 1 to 2) will provide for many supporting amenities such as a food court, student lounge, computer centre, electronic library, conference rooms as well as office space for education consultants and other industry related services.
- Levels 3 to 6 will be leased to 20 educational institutions from around the world as their satellite campuses in Surrey.
- Levels 8 to 26 will be comprised of residential suites designed for long term stay international students.
- Levels 7 and 27 will be comprised of amenity space such as fitness centre and lounges for long term residents and student hotel guests.
- Upper floors from level 28 to 49 will be GEC’s flagship student hotel for short term stays.
- Level 50 will be the front desk and check in area for the student hotel.
- The Mega Center will consist of approximately 550,000 square feet and a development budget of $230 million.
To view the conceptual drawing of the Mega Center, please visit: http://cibt.net/news/emc.php
About WestStone Group:
Following two decades of growth the WestStone Group has evolved into a leading new home developer in the Vancouver area. Based in Surrey and Scottsdale, Arizona the company has completed a long list of award-winning projects. Throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Arizona, the company is proud of its responsible and perceptive approach towards building new developments. WestStone has a very strong presence in the City of Surrey with over 3.2-million square feet of construction currently under various stages of development.
Focused on meeting the needs of the community, WestStone offers a strong diversification of developments encompassing residential, commercial, retail, rental, educational, medical and senior’s care.
Above all WestStone values customer service, exceeding buyer’s expectations and delivering a quality, well-designed product that people can count on. WestStone’s intelligent designs and strong customer focus have allowed the company to succeed and grow over the past 20-years and these will be the virtues that continue to propel the company forward.
About CIBT Education Group:
CIBT Education Group Inc. is an education and student-housing investment company focused on the global education market since 1994. Listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and OTCQX International, CIBT owns and operates a network of business, technical and language colleges in North America and Asia. CIBT offers cooperative joint programs in various countries with campuses, offices and training centers at 27 locations enrolling over 8,300 students annually. Its education business is operated through Sprott Shaw College (established in 1903), Vancouver International College and CIBT School of Business. Through these subsidiaries, CIBT offers recognized and approved business and management degrees, programs in college preparation, healthcare, hotel management, English language training, and over 150 career and vocational programs. CIBT also owns Irix Design Group, a leading design and advertising company based in Vancouver, Canada, Global Education Alliance (“GEA”) and Global Education City Holdings Inc. (“Global Education Holdings”). GEA recruits international students for many elite kindergarten, primary, secondary schools and universities in North America. Global Education Holdings is an investment holding and management company with a special focus on education related real estate projects in Canada such as student hotels, serviced apartments and education super centers. Visit us online at http://www.cibt.net, www.studenthotel.ca, and watch our corporate video at http://cibt.net/about/
Chairman, President and CEO
CIBT Education Group Inc
Investor Relations Contact: 1-604-871-9909 extension 318 or | Email: email@example.com
Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information (the “forward-looking statements”) about CIBT Education Group Inc. and its future plans. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors (collectively, “Risks”) that could cause CIBT’s actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements. The Risks include, without limitation, the ability to raise equity investment and secure other required funding to acquire the project, usual construction risks, and the ability to obtain all required municipal approvals. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of CIBT’s management at the time they are made, and CIBT does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances should change, except as may be required by law.