Australian education provider Navitas is set to acquire media training company SAE Group for $289 million.

The deal is expected to bolster Navitas' current education courses and provide a platform for further international expansion, according to Navitas chief executive Rod Jones.

"SAE will continue to be driven by its existing management team and will maintain its pioneering approach and culture," he said in a statement.

“With its focus on domestic students, SAE provides Navitas with diversification of our student profile and earnings base as well as providing us with an opportunity to leverage our international student recruitment expertise to grow SAE.”

SAE was founded in Australia in 1976 and now encompasses 47 campuses spread across 19 countries including Germany, the US and UK. Its three major fields of study are: audio production, film production and interactive media.

The two combined businesses will have over 50,000 students enrolled across 97 campuses around the world.

SAE is expected to deliver revenue of $109 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $33 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to Navitas.

The acquisition will be funded by new debt facilities, a fully underwritten institutional equity placement, and a share purchase plan to eligible shareholders.

The acquisition, which is subject to approval from regulatory bodies, is expected to be completed by January 31, 2011.

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