Business / Companies

Zeavion to buy early education business of America's Gymboree

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-30 07:56

Zeavion to buy early education business of America's Gymboree

Two children in Beijing learn to use pencils. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese-led company Zeavion Holding announced on Tuesday that it will purchase the early childhood development business of Gymboree Corporation, San Francisco-based global provider of children's apparel and early education programs, in a deal worth $127.5 million.

Under a definitive agreement, Gymboree will receive the money in cash proceeds from Zeavion, approximately $80 million net of estimated taxes. The deal is expected to complete by mid-July.

Upon closing of the transaction, Zeavion will own the entire global early childhood development business under the Gymboree Play and Music brand, including its central operations and centers in North America. The company has also agreed to acquire the intellectual property and Play and Music's curriculum and certain related trademarks.

Singapore-based Zeavion was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Jack Shi, who has made his fortune by operating Feixiang Group in China for over 30 years with a focus on the development of new chemical materials. Zeavion, however, concentrates on business development and investment in the education and entertainment sectors.

Jack Shi said in a statement that he believes in the power of education and learning at an early age and its impact on human growth and development, adding that Play and Music has created something truly special.

Starting with the founding of Gymboree Play and Music in 1976, Gymboree now offers Play and Music classes through more than 712 franchised and company-operated centers in the United States, Canada and 40 other countries and territories, giving children ages newborn to 5 years the opportunity to learn and grow in an innovative parent-child program.

Mark Breitbard, CEO of Gymboree, said that the company is excited about Zeavion's commitment to education and plan to grow Play and Music brand, and will continue to focus on its core retail businesses of children's apparel and toys.

Chinese investors have been increasingly interested in buying American companies in recent years with an record of over $15 billion Chinese direct investments being put in the country last year. A recent report by the National Committee on US-China Relations said that an early indication points to 2016 as yet another record year for Chinese investments.

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