Nova and GEOS are under new management. The new boss is Kobe-based food and beverage importer and distributor Hanshin Shuhan. According to the Yomiuri shimbun, Foodys, the current parent company of Nova and GEOS, is to hand over its 50.98% share in the eikaiwa schools to Hanshin Shuhan by the end of August.
Foodys was forced to give up its shares in G.communication after running into cash problems when its main bank, the Incubator Bank of Japan, was shut down by the Financial Services Agency on suspicion of obstructing an FSA audit. Hanshin Shuhan has agreed to assume the loan Foodys used to acquire G.communication along with shares in the company. The brief blurb ends with Masaki Inayoshi, the Chairman and President of G-Communication group, resigning effective August 10.
If eikaiwa ever was a McJob, Hanshin Shuhan is helping to reinforce that image by marketing themselves as a "fast food and fast beverage company." What does it say about the state of eikaiwa when it has stronger links to the restaurant business than it does with language learning? Moreover, it's not reassuring that G.communication's masters were connected to a bank engaged in shady business practices, although "eikaiwa" and "shady business practices" do seem to go hand in hand in recent years.
UPDATE 8/19: Many comments have been about what would a food & beverage company find attractive about owning an English conversation school. As noted in the comments, one reason may have to do Hanshin Shuhan wanting part of G.communication's restaurant business. A short article on Searchina says that G.communication restaurants G.taste, G.networks, and Sakai will become "grandchild companies" (indirect subsidiaries) of Hanshin Shuhan. An article in the Kobe Shimbun says that in Hanshin Shuhan hopes to beef up its restaurant biz with the inclusion of G.communication's stores.
As for the English conversation schools, the article simply states that Hanshin Shuhan will continue operating them as usual. It doesn't sound like they have any big plans for Nova and GEOS, does it? It makes me wonder if the schools will get lost in the shuffle as the company focuses on merging its restaurant operations instead.