Mosaic makes ITI bid official

Fredericton-based IT educator Mosaic Technologies Corp. ended speculation late last month by announcing it will acquire the assets of troubled ITI Education Corp.

Officials at Mosaic said they would submit a proposal to interim receiver Ernst & Young. “We have evaluated ITI’s current status and agreed that the company definitely has value,” said Don Whitty, Mosaic’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement.

“This acquisition is the logical next step in Mosaic’s growth and development. We are very excited by ITI’s potential.”

Halifax-based ITI operates seven schools in Canada and, until recently, operated another three in the U.S. It teaches business and technical skills to university graduates. An estimated 1,325 students are currently enrolled at the school.

ITI was forced into receivership by a Nova Scotia court earlier last month after it failed to reach a financing agreement with investor Torstar Corp. On Aug. 19, Whitty announced publicly that Mosaic was interested in acquiring ITI.

At that time, Whitty said his company would not be showing interest in the school if it did not believe that they could return ITI to “strong health and profitability.” On Aug. 22, Mosaic chairman Rick Buckingham told IT World Canada that ITI’s woes had nothing to do with market conditions.

“The problem with ITI is not the students and it’s not the school,” Buckingham said. “The problem with ITI is that it is corporately mismanaged. If you took our culture and added it to their schools and forget about their head offices in Halifax, we think it would not only be economically viable, it would flourish.”

Despite recent high-profile downturns, Whitty said he was confident in the future of Canada’s high-tech industry. He cited continued strong demand for top-quality students from top-quality schools and said with a revamped and improved ITI this is where the strength of Mosaic lies.

According to Mosaic, the company has informed Ernst & Young of its desire to move forward quickly in order to minimize any negative impact on students, staff and the curriculum.