CIBT bought the for-profit college when it was in the start-up stages in 2007 for approximately $1m. Since then, it has experienced steady growth, teaching some 160 students annually.
“We are very pleased with the return on investment we have provided to our loyal shareholders”
“We are very pleased with the return on investment we have provided to our loyal shareholders,” Toby Chu, CIBT’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
The buyer in the deal has not been named, but Chu said it is a “leading education investment holding company with operations in many countries”, with a worldwide network of international colleges and universities.
“We believe that under the new owner’s leadership, Acsenda will continue to flourish with exciting prospects ahead,” he added.
In terms of upcoming acquisitions, CIBT will turn its attention to language schools and career colleges. Its most recent addition to its portfolio is Vancouver International College, an ESL school in Vancouver, which the group bought earlier this year.
“Our plan is to continue our expansion in the student housing sector while utilising our education assets as a pipeline feeding tenants to our student housing properties,” Chu told The PIE News. “Colleges and language schools have a higher student population than university level institutions and this works well for our student housing properties.”
“Obviously, all language school students are international students requiring housing,” he noted.
However, he added that language school students only stay for between three months and a year unless they progress to further study. “So as a back-up plan we will continue to own and acquire colleges while expanding our language school pipeline.”
“These international students studying at college level also need a place to stay and their duration of stay ranges from one to three years depending on the programme. This creates many long term tenants for our student housing properties.”
Part of the $5m raised by the sale of Acsenda will go towards expanding CIBT’s accommodation arm, Global Education City Holdings Inc., which is currently developing two ‘super centre’ real estate projects in British Columbia.
The group also recently launched a $110m round of funding for the two projects.