Yesterday afternoon Career Education Corp — the company that in charge of operating 16 Le Cordon Bleu campuses in the U.S. — have announced that they will be closing down their culinary school businesses. Le Cordon Bleu will no longer enroll new students after the January 2016 student cohort begins classes, and the campuses are projected to remain open until September 2017. The international campuses are not affected by this decision.
“New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs,” said Todd Nelson, president and CEO of Career Education. “Despite our best efforts to find a new caretaker for these well-renowned culinary colleges, we could not reach an agreement that we believe was in the best interests of both our students and our stockholders. As discussions progressed, we continued to evaluate the decision taking into consideration factors including the economics between a sale and teach-out, impacts to students and stockholders and execution risk. By moving forward with a teach-out process we are better able to protect student interests and also retain all of the rights that we currently have to the Le Cordon Bleu brand. We will continue with our plan to refocus Career Education’s resources on predominantly online university education as we endeavor to provide students attending schools in ‘teach-out’ with appropriate resources to complete their program of study.”