Geos English school files for bankruptcy

Major English conversation school operator Geos Corp. said Wednesday it has started bankruptcy procedures at the Tokyo District Court, which ordered its assets protected from creditors.

The Tokyo-based school’s total liabilities are said to be 7.5 billion yen.

The school operator said it would hand over about 230 of its 330 schools nationwide to Nagoya-based G.communication Co. and shutter the remaining 100.

The transfer would allow 29,000 of Geos’ 36,800 students to continue studying at their current schools, Geos said. Additionally, about 7,800 students at the locations slated for closure could keep studying if they agree to transfer to nearby Geos schools.

However, the school operator said it would be difficult to refund tuition that already has been paid.

Geos also had focused its business on assisting students wanting to study abroad and arranging homestays with families in other countries.

Geos ran many TV advertisements, using its name recognition to pursue an expansionary policy, including establishing an affiliated company in Australia.

However, the school operator has lost students recently due to intensifying competition in the English conversation school industry and the sluggish economy.

Geos encountered financial difficulties after plunging into the red in the business year ending in December 2008 due to plummeting sales and losses incurred by the closure of some deficit-making schools.

G.communication also took over the operations of collapsed major English conversation school operator Nova Corp. in 2007.