Australian based Navitas Group to buy Ex’pression college for $13 Million

Published On June 17, 2014 | By Rob Arias | Education, Local Business, News & Commentary

The Navitas group will reportedly buy Ex’pression College for Digital Arts for $13 Million. Navitas chief executive Rod Jones said the acquisition would provide subsidiary SAE Institute Group with a significantly expanded footprint in the key California market as well as across the United States. Ex’pression College was founded in Emeryville in 1998 by Gary Platt & Eckart Wintzen and is named after a nickname given to Eckhart (Ex’) who passed away in 2008. The campus is currently run by CEO Dan Levinson (shown below in tan). Ex’pression offers bachelor’s degrees in animation and visual effects, digital filmmaking, game art and design, interaction design, motion graphic design, interactive audio and sound arts. Their Emeryville campus consists of two buildings that total 100,000 sq. ft. and have an enrollment of over 800 students. Ex’pression opened a second Silicon Valley Campus in San Jose early last year.

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Ex’pression is a for-profit college accredited by the ACCSC, which is a national accreditor of primarily vocational schools and career schools within the U.S. Tuition is estimated at $94,400 for a full four academic year Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Notable Alumni include Alex Henning, a 2003 Graduate who won Oscar in 2012 for his Visual Effects work on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Criticisms of their program point to their less than 50% graduation rate according to Wikipedia. In 2012, Ex’pression was deemed ineligible as a participating Cal Grant school due to the college’s high student loan default rate. They regained eligibility in 2014.

The Navitas group, previously known as IBT (Institute of Business Technology), are an Australian education business with campuses located in Australia, The U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom as well as international “partnerships” all over the world. According to their website, they are “a world leader in the development and provision of educational services and learning solutions”. The publicly traded company (NVT:Australian Stock Exchange Ltd) claims a market capitalization of $2.7 Billion. The company said it would use undrawn debt facilities to complete the Ex’pression acquisition that would double the number of colleges it owns California to four and potentially expediting accreditation of further higher education programs in both California and other states.

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About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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