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NZ: ACG Education buys seven Intueri vocational schools

New Zealand’s largest private education provider, ACG Education, has acquired seven vocational schools operated by Intueri Education Group, which entered administration earlier this month.

Elite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies, Intueri Education Group/ACG Education Group, New ZealandElite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies is one of the seven Intueri schools being bought by ACG Education Group.

"This allows for a smooth transition of the businesses, ensuring that services to students can continue”

New Education Group, a subsidiary of ACG, entered into an agreement to buy the seven New Zealand-based schools for an undisclosed sum, after Intueri’s non-teaching businesses entered voluntary administration at the beginning of June.

The New Zealand schools were unaffected and had been operating as normal, but the sale was necessary in order to clear debt owed by the company, according to board chair Chris Kelly.

Challenges in 2016 “materially changed the scale and revenue generation of the company”

The seven schools included in the buyout are: the New Zealand Institute of Sport, the New Zealand College of Massage, Global Education Group, Cut Above Academy, Design and Arts College of New Zealand, Academy New Zealand, and Elite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies.

“This is a very pleasing outcome and allows for a smooth transition of the businesses to a new owner, thereby ensuring that education services to students can continue uninterrupted,” commented William Black, partner at McGrathNicol, which has been appointed as administrator for Intueri.

The acquisition expands New Education Group’s vocational arm, which will teach more than 9,000 students in New Zealand annually following the acquisition.

“A key attraction was the fact that their colleges are complementary to two of our colleges, NZMA and New Zealand School of Tourism,” commented ACG Group’s chief executive, John Williamson.

“This will enable us to integrate our operations quickly, combine our strengths to deliver a broad range of high-quality programs, and establish a strong platform for future expansion.”

A series of challenges including regulatory changes in Australia and the winding down of its Quantum Education Group subsidiary in 2016 have “materially changed the scale and revenue generation of the company and its ability to service and repay debt,” Kelly said.

Quantum Education Group collapsed at the end of last year following investigations by both the Tertiary Education Commission and the Serious Fraud Office, with some schools sold to other operators and others closed altogether.

And earlier this year, Intueri exited the Australian market, which had accounted for 30% of the group’s revenue, citing regulatory changes.

ACG Education’s acquisition of the seven Intueri schools is expected to be completed on June 30.

It follows Intueri’s sale of The New Zealand School of Commercial Diver Training to Marsol Worldwide Limited on June 2, the day after the group went into administration.

ACG operates preschools, schools, university pathways programs and vocational & higher education colleges. Earlier this year it bought English language school The Campbell Institute, adding a number of pathway partnerships to its offering.

Following the acquisition, ACG will have some 17,000 students enrolled at more than 50 campuses in three countries.

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