iae Global acquired by investment fund

10, November, 2014

Major worldwide study travel agency iae Global has entered an agreement with Japanese investment fund company New Horizon Capital (NHC) in a deal expected to significantly grow the number of students sent abroad by the company.

The agreement will see iae Global merge with a concurrent NHC acquisition for further network expansion and growth under a single holding company, iae Holdings, to be based in Tokyo. The Japanese Nikkei newspaper reported the arrangement to be worth around ¥1.4 billion (US$12 million).

A company statement said iae Global currently places over 20,000 students annually in 700 partner institutions worldwide. “The number is anticipated to grow exponentially as the capital infusion brought on by the acquisition and merger will enable the iae network to solidify its presence in existing markets and expand further worldwide,” said the statement.

OJ Kim, iae Global CEO, said, “On behalf of my partners, Michael Barnes and Mark Lucas, we wish to state our excitement to have the opportunity to work with NHC in this venture, and are pleased to use our extensive experience, well-established brand name in international student recruitment and support, outstanding management team and our highly trained staff to further the goals of all stakeholders.

“We believe in long-term growth through strategic alliances, and iae is already well-positioned in the industry to capitalise on the infusion brought by the new merger to bring the iae recruitment network to new heights,” said Kim.

Iae Global is the global management arm of the iae Eduhouse agency, first established in Korea in 1992. The company has 21 recruitment offices in Korea and 49 international branch offices in 16 countries.

The first stage of the expansion plan is in Japan, where NHC has also recently acquired the international education arm of KK Unitips. “NHC will leverage its knowledge of the Japanese market with iae Global’s state-of-the-art IT educational recruitment system and vast contacts in the international education industry to set up, operate and grow an iae Japan ryugaku [study abroad] network,” said iae’s statement.  

NHC Chairman and President, Yasushi Ando, said, “Global education and developing global human resources are keys to Japan’s future in the world economy. Our fund hopes to make an important social contribution through this investment.”

As iae Holdings Ltd will be NHC’s first foray into the international education industry, iae Global will lead the operations and strategic direction of the consolidated group.

NHC is a private equity firm targeting mid- to small-cap buyout deals and has 12 years of experience and a cumulative AUM (assets under management) of 230 billion yen (US$2 billion). Previous equity investments include Mitsubishi Motors, Teac Corporation and Tokyu Construction.


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