The agreement was made between CEG and Intrax English Programs to buy three schools in San Francisco, Chicago, and San Diego for an undisclosed amount. Counting the Boston Academy of English acquired in October 2013, Stafford House will now have four locations in the US with more total students than in all their UK centres.
The move is the latest in CEG’s strategy to develop its US market. Stephan Roussounis, managing director of Stafford House School of English, said that after the Boston acquisition the group wanted to find something larger.
“We were looking for a high quality group of schools in the US with a centralised headquarter staff, and Intrax was our first choice”
“We were looking for a high quality group of schools in the US with a centralised headquarter staff, and Intrax was our first choice. Luckily when we contacted Intrax they were interested in talking,” he told The PIE News.
According to CEG, the transaction will be completed by the end of 2015, but until then Intrax operations and branding will remain unchanged. The school’s current programme offering includes high school exchange, international au pairs, English classes, leadership programmes, and work and internship placements.
Over the coming months, Roussounis said the group will be working to update the Stafford House brand and move from being a UK-focused ELT group to having a balanced US and UK portfolio.
“We will now have more students in the US than the UK,” he said, adding that in the consolidation, Stafford House is “not seeking to try to over-standardise the offering, and paint everything one colour.”
“We will be looking at developing our university pathway offering in the US, we already have around 40 TOEFL waiver partners and we’ll be looking to grow this as well,” he said.
“Intrax schools have a reputation for high quality language schools, as does Stafford House. We want the enlarged Stafford House group to be seen as a real player in the EFL market in the US and UK.”
To manage its US operations, Stafford House will also have a head office team based in San Francisco from next year.
John Wilhem, Chairman of Intrax Inc said CEG was a “strong strategic partner” and the sale “will allow Intrax to continue to expand its J-1 programs, and its U.S.-focused intern and job placement programs”.
Established in 1952, CEG educates more than 4,000 students annually across its four divisions: CATS, a high school network with campuses in Cambridge, Canterbury, London, and Boston in the US; ‘Foundation Campus’ programmes through partnerships with 20 universities in the UK, US and Netherlands; the College of Visual & Performing Arts in Cambridge and Stafford House.
In addition to the new acquisition, Stafford House has announced it will open a new school in Cambridge in September, joining its other UK centres in London, Brighton and Canterbury.