Friday, June 15, 2007

Local News: English Language School Shake Up Coming

Two days ago the Japanese Government 's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) knocked a local language school chain with a suspension of operations - specifically they are not allowed to engage in any new long-term contracts for 6 months while they restructure their entire contract system. This could be a really big blow and knock the giant of the industry here back on it's heels opening the market for a more vibrant set of choices or even be a death blow depending on the state of the finances of NOVA.
NOVA is the largest of the chain language schools here and has always had a bad time in public relations. This is a combination of mildly stingy conditions, some PR mis-steps and just being the biggest target. I still have a couple of friends working there and it's obvious that everything is not sunshine and cotton-candy, it's also not a bad place to work. Whatever you read in the notice boards and blogs, make sure you have a shaker of salt handy.
All of this right now tho', stems from disputes about the contract system that has been deemed by the courts, government, and lawsuits to be unfair and illegal depending on the particular aspect you're discussing.

A couple of links and quotes: : Rule-breaking Nova hit with suspension order - ENGLISH
The industry ministry Wednesday ordered Nova Corp., the nation's largest English language school operator, to suspend part of its operations for six months as punishment for deceiving potential students and committing other violations.
Starting today, Nova is banned from soliciting, accepting or finalizing new contracts for long-term courses that last for over a year, the sources said.

Liberal Japan » Blog Archive » METI to Nova: No more long term contracts!

Trans-Pacific Radio » METI to order Nova to suspend part of its business: The beginning of the end :: Independent Podcasts from Tokyo, Japan - Japanese News, Politics, Business and Economy
If METI shuts down their sales division, I can’t see NOVA surviving for over 30 days without suddenly selling off a huge amount of their assets (which might make for a dirty, nasty bankruptcy settlement when some of that cash starts walking). If NOVA’s owners had an ace up their sleeve, they would have pulled it out over the last week. They didn’t pull it because they don’t have one.

If you think NOVA teachers live paycheck to paycheck, you should see the state of the company’s finances. It’s share price continues to slide into oblivion (click the chart on the right to view a full-size version), and sales and profit continue to dive while expenditures on paying off interest/servicing debt have nearly tripled in the past two years.

And stock history is here: Investment Tools

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: