Ex-NOVA president, family sold off majority of stake in failed school

Former NOVA Corp. President Nozomu Sahashi and his family’s stake in the failed language school operator declined from over 70 percent to less than 20 percent over a two-week period in September without a legally required report, it emerged on Monday.

Receivers for NOVA are considering filing a criminal complaint with law enforcers against Sahashi if it is proven that he sold the shares without filing a report with authorities.

The law regulating transactions in financial organizations requires a major shareholder with a 5 percent stake in a firm or more to report to authorities within five business days any sale and acquisition of its shares.

As of Sept. 14, NOVA Kikaku, run by a relative of Sahashi, owned 36.03 percent of shares in NOVA Corp and Sahashi held a 35.56 percent in the group, totaling 71.59 percent, according to a report the former president submitted to the Kinki Financial Bureau on Sept. 25.

It has emerged that the stake held by NOVA Kikaku and Sahashi had declined to 3.69 percent and 16.02 percent, respectively, by Sept. 30, totaling 19.71 percent. Neither Sahashi nor NOVA Kikaku has submitted a report on the sale of the shares.

Sahashi, who was sacked as president of the company late last week and demoted to a board director, may have sold the shares in a desperate bid to secure operating funds, sources close to the company said.