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Japanese firm buys 90% share in three IH schools

Human Holdings has bought controlling shares in a group of schools in Canada and the US operated under the International House World Organisation brand.
May 16 2017
2 Min Read

Human Holdings, a Japan-based management services company, has announced major investments in a group of three schools in Canada and the US operated under the International House World Organisation brand.

Through its education division, Human Academy, Human Holdings has bought a 90% share in the IH Net Pacific Group and its three IHWO affiliate schools for an undisclosed price.

The new shareholder’s focus will be to “maintain stability in the core adult ESL market”

The group operates two English language schools – IH San Diego in California and IH Whistler in British Columbia – as well as IH Vancouver, also in BC, which incorporates an English language teaching division, a modern language school and a career training college.

Altogether, the schools enrol some 2,500 students.

Human Holdings is not planning any major operational changes in the schools, but is aiming to strengthen recruitment of Asian – and specifically Japanese – students, it said in a statement. As part of this, it is developing a course leading to English teaching accreditation that is recognised in Japan.

Initially, the new shareholder’s focus will be to “solidify the takeover to maintain stability in the core adult ESL market”, according to current shareholder Jeff Romonko, who will stay in post as director of studies at IH Vancouver and remain a minority owner.

“They also plan on continuing to build the areas of current growth for the schools based on growing demand in our premium school group,” he told The PIE News.

“These include: young learner programs, career college programs in Canada, pathway programs in both Canada and the US, and teacher training and modern languages.”

IH Vancouver already has several pathway agreements in place that allow students to progress directly to partner universities, bypassing an English proficiency entrance exam, and Human Holdings is looking to expand this offering.

The company already has some agreements in place with US schools that it is keen to leverage upon acquiring a language school in the US, Romonko said.

In a statement, Romonko commented that the buyout will “strengthen our growth trajectory and increase the range of offerings to our students”.

“We will continue with business as usual and as an affiliate of the International House World Organisation, while updating and modernising our programs with the help of Human Holding’s overall capacity and vision”, he added.

The three companies that make up IH Net Pacific Group are JRCP Holdings, which operates IH Vancouver, IH Whistler and IH Vancouver Modern Languages; International House Career College, Inc.; and Net Pacific Group in California, trading as IH San Diego.

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