12/10/2021 - 16:06

iCollege wraps up major takeover

12/10/2021 - 16:06

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iCollege is set to finalise its off-market takeover of RedHill Education after acquiring a 93 per cent interest in the NSW-based online education provider.

Badri Gosavi joined iCollege in 2018. Photo: David Henry

iCollege is set to finalise its off-market takeover of RedHill Education after acquiring a 93 per cent interest in the NSW-based online education provider.

That acquisition had faced several hurdles prior to iCollege commencing its takeover in June, with fellow NSW-based competitor UCW lodging a rival bid for the embattled business in December.

UCW subsequently withdrew its bid, with iCollege upping its offer from 7.6 to 9.5 shares for every RedHill share.

iCollege has since notified the ASX that it will commence compulsory acquisition of all remaining shares in RedHill Education.

Badri Gosavi, who has served as iCollege’s chief financial officer since 2018, told Business News the acquisition would increase revenue from international students, who are expected to return to Australia’s shores in the next 12 months.

He also listed the geographical expansion into New South Wales and Victoria, as well as expansion into business leadership and higher education courses, as appealing for iCollege.

“Naturally, when you put the two together, you have good geographic coverage, covering five cities with 14 campuses,” he said.

Mr Gosavi said the acquisition would provide help further iCollege’s national growth given it will now run campuses across the country’s five largest cities.

“The people are there, and the teams are there, so we can leverage their templates and capabilities without having to make large capital expenditure to grow stuff,” he said.

“Our natural plan of expansion is quite easy to do.

“Likewise, for RedHill, which was looking to get into Brisbane and Adelaide, because we've got infrastructure there, although our campuses are starting to get quite full, we can easily expand or get additional training space in places where there isn't sufficient space available.”

iCollege’s acquisition comes as some jurisdictions, such as NSW, have outlined plans to welcome international students back to their shores in the coming months.

While there is still no fixed national date for the return of international students, Mr Gosavi was confident they would return ahead of before the second half of 2022 as he had originally anticipated.

“We’re pretty bullish and confident that we can revise that number upward given the increase in vaccination rates and positive sentiment from government on international borders,” he said.

iCollege was founded in Perth before later relocating its headquarters to Brisbane; the business retains a significant presence in WA, though, having opened a major facility in Bayswater earlier this year.

Shares in the business were trading at $0.14 as at 2pm AEDT.

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