Language Giant NOVA in Death Throws
Monday, October 15, 2007 Posted: 12:03 PM JST
Language school NOVA Corp. appears to be in its death throws. Let's Japan.org reports that NOVA CEO Nozum Sahashi has sent a fax to all schools informing teachers that they will not be paid today. Sahashi asks them to be patient and promises to pay salaries on the 19th.
The fax reads:
To all instructors:
I deeply regret to inform all instructions that we are unable to pay salaries on Monday October 15. This is because it has not been possible to gather sufficient funds as quickly as planned. Instructors are now scheduled to be paid on Friday October 19.
I am truly sorry about the lateness of this notice and the inconvenience and hardship this causes. I ask for your understanding and patience during this difficult period.
The school has been hit by numerous scandals recently. Many students have sued the company to pay back tuition for cancelled lessons. Since last month NOVA has been having trouble paying salaries and rent. NOVA branches all over Japan have been reported to close their doors while teachers are loosing their company supplied housing because landlords have not been paid.
Earlier this month NOVA raised JPY 70 million in cash by issuing warrants for 200 million shares to two investment companies registered in the Virgin Islands. But this action has created only more concern that NOVA is on its last legs.
Some 4,000 foreign teachers currently work at Nova's 900 language schools. NOVA's melt-down is therefore becoming international news. In a recent interview with ABC radio, Australian Foreign Affairs minister Alexander Downer expressed concern over the 1,300 Australians employed by NOVA. "We'll provide them with consular assistance if they need it," he said. "If they get into real personal difficulties, then we'll obviously help them out."
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