Loyalist Group acquires Korean agency

03, December, 2014

Loyalist Group, an investor in international education based in Canada, has moved to acquire shares of South Korean-based student recruitment agency, Uhak.com .

The group, which owns and operates several private English as a Second Language (ESL) schools, career colleges and community colleges in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Halifax, including King George International College and King George International Business College (KGIC) which it acquired back in September 2013, will pay an estimated CAN$8.1 million for the Uhak.com agency network, which includes eight branch offices and overseas centres in Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Subject to certain closing adjustments, a total of CAN$5.3 million will be payable in cash, and a further CAN$2.8 million will be paid through the issuance of 5,384,615 company shares. The common value per share is estimated to be CAN$0.52 and bonds will be held by a third party for a period of two years following closing for added security. It is anticipated that the acquisition will complete on or around December 5, 2014.

The agency is the first student recruitment facilitator to be included in Loyalist’s growing educational portfolio. Andrew Ryu, Loyalist Group CEO, said the acquisition would add another dimension to the firm’s integration strategy, with all parties benefitting. “By acquiring one of our largest agency partners, we will be in a position to reduce our direct costs of attracting students, as well as strengthening ourselves as a source for growing our student population, with an expected annualised additional net benefit of approximately CAN$2.0 million within the first year. We look forward to welcoming the Uhak team into the Loyalist family.”

Ryu added that students recruited via Uhak would not be required to attend one of its schools, which include PGIC, Cornerstone Academic College, VIA Training Centre, Pan Pacific College, Urban International, MTI Community College, KGIC and Study English in Canada (SEC). “[We will] share the commission fees for students who might choose to attend a school in another country,” explained Ryu.

Uhak.com is the second Korea-based agency to be acquired by investors in the space of a month. iAE Global was bought by a Japanese investment fund company back in November.

At the time of writing, CAN$1 = US$0.878


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