Nova (formerly Nova Group) is a large eikaiwa school (private English teaching company) in Japan. It was by far the largest company of this type until its widely publicized collapse in October 2007. Before its bankruptcy, Nova employed approximately 15,000 people across a group of companies that supported the operations of and extended out from the "Intercultural Network" of its language schools. The scope of its business operations reached its peak in February 2007 following a rapid expansion of its chain to 924 Nova branches plus a Multimedia Center located in Osaka.
Nova, known for high-priced lesson packages, and later plagued by lawsuits and negative publicity, began to decline in earnest almost immediately after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry placed a six-month ban against soliciting new long-term contracts from students on the company on 13 June 2007. The impending financial crisis facing Nova related to a rapid increase in refund claims, significant drops in sales figures, and deterioration of its reputation, came to the fore in September 2007 when Nova began to delay payment of wages and bonuses to staff. The NAMBU Foreign Workers Caucus in Tokyo estimated that up to 3,000 staff had not received their salaries on time. A solution for Nova's failure to pay wages was promised by 19 October in a fax sent to branch schools. On 23 October the Osaka Labor Standards office accepted a demand by unionized Nova instructors to investigate criminal charges against Nova President and founder, Nozomu Sahashi, over delayed and unpaid wages.
It took roughly eight months for the company to reach the point where it filed for bankruptcy protection on 26 October 2007 whereupon the trading of its stock was suspended and was delisted on 27 November 2007. On 6 November 2007 court-appointed receivers announced that Nagoya-based G.Communication would sponsor Nova. Initial plans by G.com were to start with reopening up to 30 schools in various locations including Tokyo and Osaka by the end of November 2007. G.com later sold off its 490 Nova and 167 Geos English schools on 1 October 2010 to Inayoshi Holdings, with 50 of the Geos schools slated to join the Nova group under the name "Nova x Geos" on 1 November 2010. As of 1 February 2012 Nova is owned by Jibun Mirai Associe Co. Ltd.
As of May 2012 Nova operates 212 branches, 211 in Japan and one in Hawaii.
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