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Navitas Buys SAE Group for $286 Million

NEW YORK, NY—Australian education company Navitas has purchased pro audio educator SAE Group for $286 million.

Tom MisnerNEW YORK, NY—Australian education company Navitas has purchased pro audio educator SAE Group for $286 million. SAE founder Tom Misner tells Pro Sound News that he will retain ownership of most of the SAE buildings, and that “AMS Neve and Studios 301 are still 100 percent owned by myself.”

A group headed by longtime managing director Mark Crabtree runs AMS Neve. Misner is currently commencing manufacture of a “powered by Neve” analog console under the brand Custom Series 75, demonstrated at SAE San Francisco during the recent AES Convention. The original Studios 301 facility in Sydney has a history dating back to 1926, with additional group locations in Cologne, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden and Byron Bay, Australia.

SAE, founded in Australia in 1976, now has 47 campuses in 19 countries, offering post-secondary education opportunities to approximately 8,000 students, including certificate, diploma, degree and Masters programs across three major fields of study; audio production, film production and interactive media. According to Navitas’ announcement, SAE is expected to deliver revenue of $107.5 million and EBITDA of $32.5 million in the 2010 calendar year.

Navitas says further that the SAE purchase will allow the company to supplement its educational offerings and expand its geographic footprint. The combined Navitas and SAE business is projected to include 50,000 students enrolled across 97 campuses around the world and will “provide a platform for further expansion into key international markets.”

Navitas characterizes itself as “an Australian diversified global education leader providing pre-university and university programs to over 22,000 students enrolled in 30 colleges across eight countries. Navitas also provides English language courses, migrant education and settlement services, student recruitment, professional development and corporate training services.”

“Navitas and SAE share a commitment to quality educational outcomes for students and are both equally focused on strong organic growth within their respective fields,” says Rod Jones, Navitas CEO. “SAE will continue to be driven by its existing management team and will maintain its pioneering approach and culture.” Misner reports that he will remain as president global operations for SAE for at least the next three years, adding, “It is very important to me that SAE maintains its momentum [and] keeps growing.”

Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to close at the end of January 2011.



Custom Series 75