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LSBF owners buy German business school

The holding company behind the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) has acquired the German business school GISMA for an undisclosed sum, after it fell into insolvency.

The Hanover-based school was set up by former German prime minister Gerhard Schröder in 1999, as a joint initiative with the state of Lower Saxony and private-sector enterprises. It offers a range of MBA programmes to both local and international students.

However, it went into administration in May after Volkswagen – a major sponsor – pulled its backing, leading to a significant fall in pupil numbers.

Global University Systems (GUS), a holding company whose best known asset is LSBF, announced it had acquired GISMA earlier this week. The business school will continue to operate independently, but make use of the group’s network of academic partners, marketing team and online learning platforms.

GUS added that no staff would lose their jobs, but that it planned to “strengthen” GISMA’s management team. All students will be able to continue their courses as usual, too.

Over the last few years GUS has seen strong expansion through its sister institutions, which also include St Patrick’s College, InterActive and the London College of Contemporary Arts.

But it saw a commercial partnership between LSBF and Glyndŵr University cut short this spring, after the university pulled the plug.

Last April the two institutions launched an accounting course, with Glyndwr sponsoring foreign students so they could work in the UK, while LSBF provided teaching.

But, following due diligence, Glyndwr suspended entry to the course in May. In August the Times Higher Education reported that, “although there is no suggestion that any rules have been broken”, the Home Office was “looking into” the partnership.

In a statement LSBF said: "Entry to the CIMA programmes was never suspended... We had positive on-going discussions with Glyndwr and whilst both parties successfully went through rigorous due-diligence, we were unfortunately unable to resolve aspects of final commercial arrangements."

Posted on: 06/09/2013

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