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Swiss education agency, Pro Linguis, goes into liquidation

Pro Linguis, one of the largest and oldest education agencies in Switzerland, has gone into liquidation. The study travel agency, which has been owned by Kaplan since 2008, was established in 1955 and has around 300 partner language schools.

Owners Kaplan are in discussion with several parties about the future of ProLinguis

"We hope there is a solution and someone is actually interested in buying it"

Speaking to The PIE News at the IALC workshop last week, Claudio Cesarano, president of SALTA, the Swiss Association of Language Travel Agents, said he was surprised that the agency has gone into liquidation, but he was hopeful that a viable solution would be found.

“It is one of the first agencies in Switzerland”

“I think for us, it is a big surprise because it’s a traditional agency,” he said. “It is one of the first agencies in Switzerland.”

Pro Linguis was previously owned and run by Martin Pfister, until 2008 when it was acquired by Kaplan for an undisclosed amount.

“We are in discussions with several parties about opportunities for the Pro Linguis business,” a Kaplan spokesperson told The PIE News.

Pro Linguis, which was established in 1955, has dealt with over 160,000 customers, according to Kaplan.

In 2008, Pro Linguis joined Kaplan’s test prep division, and CEO of this sector, John Polstein, said at the time: “As a top quality educational services provider with an established reputation within an important European market, Pro Linguis represents an ideal partner in these efforts.”

Kaplan subsequently invested in an agency in Thailand and Japan in 2012.

“We are in discussions with several parties about opportunities for the Pro Linguis business”

The PIE News reported last month that agencies in Switzerland – which is a strong source market for outbound study –reported a difficult year in 2015 due to currency fluctuations, with SALTA saying that turnover was down across its membership.

While the future for ProLinguis is uncertain at present, Cesarano said: “We hope there is a solution and someone is actually interested in buying it.”

“If it would be one of us in Switzerland or someone from outside, or another school chain or a private person. I’m very positive, I hope that there is solution.”

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