New Short-term Loan Facility
Director Loan Note
Trading and Covid Update and New Accreditation
Malvern International plc (AIM: MLVN), the global learning and skills development partner, announces that it has entered into a new short term loan agreement for £350,000 (the “New Loan” or “Loan”) with Boost & Co. Ltd (“Boost” or the “Lender”), and that it has secured a further £30,000 via a unsecured loan note with a Director.
The purpose of this new borrowing is to provide bridging finance to ensure the Company has sufficient working capital pending the payment of a significant trade debtor amounting to in excess of £900,000 which is expected to be paid in quarter one 2021.
New Short-term Loan Facility
The New Loan for £350,000 will be drawn in full immediately. Interest on the amounts drawn down will be charged at 11.25% per annum.
In the event that the New Loan is not repaid in full on 30 April 2021, the Lender is entitled to 18,500,000 warrants over 18,500,000 ordinary shares at an exercise price of 0.15 pence per share.
An arrangement fee of 1.5% is payable on the New Loan on the signing of the loan agreement.
The amounts drawn down are secured alongside the existing lending from Boost by way of debentures constituting the first fixed and floating charges over the Group’s assets in the UK, including fixed charge security over the shares held in each English subsidiary of the Company.
Director Loan Note
As a condition of the New Loan, Richard Mace, Chief Executive of the Company, has agreed to lend the Company £30,000 by way of an unsecured loan. The loan is repayable on or before 30 April 2021 and attracts interest at 5.0% per annum.
Trading and Covid Update
In line with the government guidance all schools will be closed from 5th January to 14th February.
University Pathway student numbers for the September intake ended up in line with budget with 121 students. It had been hoped that the intake would be ahead of expectations but there was a slight attrition as some of the students decided not to travel due to COVID restrictions, and changing rules with international travel. However, the numbers represent significant growth from previous year’s intake and are in line with university expectations. The January 2021 intake is going ahead, starting on 11th January and will be delivered using blended learning, with all teaching being online initially. We are awaiting the advice from the university about the ongoing use of blended learning for the rest of the academic year.
Language student bookings had been rebuilding in H2 of 2020. Following the latest government COVID restrictions, we are contacting existing language students who are already in the UK to support them in a smooth transition to online study via Malvern Online Academy.
Middle East embassy students that haven not arrived in UK already have permission from embassies to start their studies online and will travel to the UK when they feel safe to do so. The indication from our overseas sales agencies is that students who have not already commenced courses will arrive later, delaying their start until late Spring.
In December Malvern was successful with its application to become a NCUK accredited delivery centre from their London Kings Cross centre. NCUK is a consortium of leading universities dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities worldwide.
From September 2021 Malvern will accept international and EU students on their nine month NCUK International foundation programme. The programme is designed to prepare international students for undergraduate study at a UK university. On completion of the course, students have guaranteed progression options to over 20 leading partner universities in the UK, as well as established universities in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The NCUK partnership will add to additional revenue streams that are likely to grow in 2022 and beyond as student numbers increase. The programmes will help attract a wider diversity of students from key recruitment markets. As part of the group strategy, we see this academic foundation programmes as an area of growth.
A few experienced senior managers have been recruited and will join the business in Q1 to support product development and implement growth plans.
Overall demand for our education products remains largely unaffected. Further growth in the University Pathway division is predicted for September 2021 and we are currently expecting the Summer programmes to go ahead for language centres and Malvern Juniors.
We therefore remain positive about the long-term outlook for the Company, and we are expecting business to resume to normal levels once the vaccine rollout has been administered to key groups.
Commenting on the loan, Mark Elliott, Chairman at Malvern, said:
“We have been working closely with Boost and are pleased to have been able to quickly and easily agree this additional short-term support with them.
I would like at this time to also express the Board’s gratitude to all in Malvern who are managing the challenges exceptionally well during this prolonged period of uncertainty. We continue to build a strong team and a business that we believe will not only survive, but thrive once a greater degree of normality returns.”
Certain information contained in this announcement would have constituted inside information (as defined by Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014) (“MAR”) prior to its release as part of this announcement and is disclosed in accordance with the Company’s obligations under Article 17 of MAR.