On 30 January 2017 we announced that Charles Darwin University (CDU), one of Australia’s public universities, had acquired 100% of ICHM.
It has been our wish that whoever bought ICHM would aspire to the same goals. We have borne in mind the interests of our former students, who by paying for their education allowed us to grow ICHM. These men and women have achieved so much in their careers promoting the ICHM brand. We have considered our existing students, and we wanted them to be confident that through a sale their positions would be enhanced. We have been aware of our employees, mindful that their contribution in marketing, teaching and administrating over many years has been critical to ICHM’s success. And we have been cognizant of our partners—Hotelleriesuisse and our licensed schools. They believe in us, and all of them want to work with us going forward.
The decision to sell ICHM was not sudden. ICHM has been an acquisition target for years: other colleges, private equity buyers, brokers and agents have all approached us. I have met with a number of universities.
The goal was always the same: to be confident that the buyer would want to own and grow one of the best hotel schools in the world.
We have been talking to CDU for well over two years. We have met countless times with senior staff and they have visited the campus. We firmly believe that CDU is the ideal new owner of ICHM.
Both CDU and the Lipman family are stressing ‘business as usual’. I have signed an agreement to remain chief executive and an employee of ICHM for at least the next three years. We will remain an independent Higher Education Provider with our own TEQSA accreditation, and ESOS code. Nothing will change for our students, our employees, Hotelleriesuisse or our licensed schools. We have a 10-year lease with Regency. The degrees we will be awarding students will continue to be ICHM degrees.
Three of our existing college council members will remain, including ICHM graduate Bodelle Francis. There will be continuity on our Academic Board as well.
CDU is based in Darwin and is ranked among the top 300 universities in the world by Times Higher Education 2016 World University Rankings. It is a dual sector provider, accredited to deliver both Higher Education and Vocational Education (VET) courses. It is active with hospitality programs in both Darwin and Alice Springs. It is especially active in distance and online programs.
If there are any questions about this change of ownership, please feel free to contact me.