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Amity acquires a 170-Acre campus in New York and senses big opportunity in America

By   /  October 17, 2016  /  Comments Off on Amity acquires a 170-Acre campus in New York and senses big opportunity in America

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New Delhi: Amity Group, a leading education group in India, has announced the acquisition of a 170-acre Waterfront Campus from St. John’s University located in Oakdale, Long Island, New York. The property consists of 11 buildings with sweeping views of the Great South Bay. At the center of the campus is the Georgian-style Bourne Mansion, built in 1897 which was the waterfront estate of Frederick Bourne, President of Singer Sewing Machine Co. and one of the wealthiest people in the world at that time. The property was then converted to the LaSalle Military Academy, before it was taken over by St John’s University in 1999.

This acquisition is the latest expansion by the Amity group, which has more than 125,000 students studying across India as well as international campuses in London, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius and a number of other countries. This may be one of the largest entries of any international education provider into the U.S.

According to Dr. Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, Amity, “The Amity New York campus will be a platform for research collaboration, faculty and student exchange programs as well as innovation and entrepreneurship development between institutions in the US and India. The campus will act as a bridge allowing people and organisations to connect and communicate between the US, India and other countries. This includes the large Indian diaspora in the US, which is keen to further its bonds with India.”

Amity University is one of the only institutions in Asia to have the highly prestigious US regional accreditation from WASC, indicating that Amity understands and is aligned with quality standards expected by US regulators.

There were a large number of bidders for the property situated in a premium location in the US, close driving distance from JFK airport and with easy access by highway and train connectivity to Manhattan. As per St John’s representatives, Amity was selected as the buyer because of its strong education background, integrity of the group, and the vision to continue the facility as a global teaching and research facility. Amity closed the deal and took possession of the campus on September 27th, 2016. St John’s University has been permitted to use one of the academic blocks until June 2017 so that they transition their programs seamlessly.

Separately, Amity had been in preliminary discussions for the acquisition of the Boston campus of EDMC, one of the largest education companies in the US, which has been owned at different times by private equity players like Goldman Sachs, Providence Equity and KKR. Amity’s discussion with EDMC had encountered resistance from Maura Healey, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, who has taken objection to EDMC and acted against them in the past. With the much larger and prominent New York acquisition completed, and seeing the public reaction of the AG, Amity has decided to no longer pursue the EDMC Boston acquisition.

 

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