Written on the 8 August 2014 by Nick Nichols

SUNKIDS Children's Centres has laid plans to expand its portfolio, targeting Robina for its first new centre since the business was acquired from liquidators to the failed Gold Coast funds manager MFS in 2010.

The Brisbane-based Kinder Educentres has snared a 3043sqm site at 295 Scottsdale Drive for $2.326 million for its 15th centre and has detailed plans for further expansion of the Sunkids brand.

“Our growth strategy is to build or buy two to three centres a year, in emerging or fast growing suburbs like Robina,” says Kinder Educentres chief executive Abdul Omar.

"We are also in the process of building a centre in Sunnybank Hills in Brisbane."

Sunkids was established in 2005 by Gold Coast developer Sunland Group (ASX: SDG) which sold the business to MFS in 2007.

Although MFS (renamed Octaviar) collapsed in 2008, Sunkids was among the group’s most profitable business and drew more than 200 expressions of interest when placed on the market by liquidators in 2010.

Kinder Educentres acquired Sunkids’ Queensland operations as part of a $32 million deal that included six Victorian centres sold to an investor from Canberra.

Kinder has direct ownership of eight of the 14 Sunkids centres and owns the Sunkids brand.

Omar says construction of the Sunkids centre at Robina will begin later this year. The centre will have a capacity of 120 places and is set to open in the second quarter of 2015.

"We have a good presence on the Gold Coast, but for us Robina was a location that we had to be in," Omar says.

"Our closest centre is in Burleigh and it is performing very well, virtually at capacity, so it made sense for our next centre to be in the area.

"Robina is undergoing significant growth and development and we believe there is a lot of demand for a childcare service to cater to the large residential population and employment base.

"As Robina has special planning status, we were also able to benefit from a fast tracked application process with Gold Coast City Council, so that was a positive for us in terms of being able to open as fast as possible.”

The sale of the site to Kinder Educentres caps off a solid run in the $40 million M1 Business Precinct by Robina Group.

The sale is the second in as many weeks, leaving just one parcel of land totalling 3151sqm for sale in the 56,849sqm precinct which is home to the M1X Energy Centre, CityPods stand-alone offices, Australian Industry Trade College, Condev Constructions, Pacifica Seafood and Queensland Police.

Author: Nick Nichols





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