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The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne acquires the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality AG in Passugg

Passugg, 21.11.2013

The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) today officially signed the agreement allowing it to acquire 75% of the shares of the Swiss School for Tourism and Hospitality AG (SSTH) in Passugg.

After a period of in-depth analysis which began at the end of January 2013 and focused on both the strategic and economic aspects of this investment, EHL is now completing its acquisition of 75% of the SSTH. hotelleriesuisse, the umbrella organisation of the Swiss hotel industry, holds, alongside EHL a minority stake in the capital of the School, which is located in the heart of the Canton of Graubünden.
The Schörghuber family, which owns the company Arabella (Schweiz), has decided to transfer their shareholding to EHL, thus demonstrating their confidence in EHL’s ability to ensure the future of the SSTH.

A unique model in the world of hospitality education

This acquisition will enable EHL and hotelleriesuisse to integrate the entire vocational training and education programme, from the apprenticeship to the Bachelor HES, thus affording a unique opportunity for students enrolling at the SSTH.
This "academic progression" model will offer young people holding a Federal Certificate of Ability (CFC) the possibility of continuing a higher education course at the SSTH in Passugg and then of taking a Bachelor HES degree awarded by the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO).

A major strategic and competitive asset

The Board of Governors of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne has been looking for an opportunity to develop close links with a Specialized School in German-speaking Switzerland for some years, with the aim of making the know-how and expertise of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne more widely known in Switzerland.
An opportunity arose last year with the SSTH, which was planning to develop a Bachelor programme, while the school’s owners were seeking to sell their capital interest to a new investor.

By establishing today a strong link with an institution in German-speaking Switzerland, EHL is strengthening its presence and position as a leader.
Michel Rochat, General Director of EHL, also underlines his intention to develop and maintain solid links with the Canton’s State Council and the hoteliers of Graubünden, the cradle of the leisure hotel industry, because “in order to be recognized and to be the best in its field, a school must be strongly rooted in its economic and social environment”.

An additional source of talents for the industry

hotelleriesuisse, the umbrella organisation of the Swiss hotel industry, has been the key player in this acquisition.
As an organisation for those who work in the services and hospitality world, hotelleriesuisse, the SSTH minority shareholder, will represent the interests of this industry on the new board. The association will also continue to promote the values of the SSTH to its members in Graubünden.

Guglielmo L. Brentel, president of the hotel association, says that he "is looking forward to intensifying the association’s cooperation with the partner schools in Lausanne, Thun and Passugg, which means that by transcending the language issues, the training landscape for our industry can be improved."

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