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A new chapter
Rajesh Bhatia bought 14,000 shares and 3,000 shares in two tranches in the process increased his stake to 15.42%.

Team Outlook Business

43-year-old Rajesh Bhatia, founder and managing director of Mumbai-based preschool chain Tree House Education and Accessories, has ramped up his holding by buying 14,000 shares and 3,000 shares in two tranches at ₹245.39 and ₹241.5, respectively, and in the process increased his stake to 15.42%. The promoters collectively hold 29.27% stake, of which 9.3% is pledged. With 379 preschools, Tree House is India’s largest preschool chain: 300 of them being are self-owned, while 79 are run by franchisees. Bhatia has also managed to acquire preschool brand Brainworks Learning, which will give Tree House 13 more preschools. However, a report by Elara Capital says that close to half the company’s asset base is locked up in the low-yielding K-12 (kindergarten to 12th grade) business. Compared with 21% from preschools, the K-12 assets generate a 5% return on capital, mentions the report. The company is now planning to sell the land and building of four schools of the 24 it operates to perk up the ratios.

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