Massive Rotterdam college group Zadkine in financial trouble

Rotterdam’s vocational training college group Zadkine is on the verge of bankruptcy and is being forced to cut jobs and sell buildings to make up a €19m deficit, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The school group has 18,000 pupils and 2,000 staff and the finance ministry is involved in discussions to put together a financial safety net, the paper says.
Earlier this year, Amsterdam school group Amarantis got into serious financial trouble after commissioning a number of expensive new buildings. The group was eventually broken up. Zadkine’s problems stem from buying too much property, the paper says.
Between 2004 and 2007 the group bought extensively to expand capacity. Shortly afterwards, government subsidies were reduced and the group lost the contract to carry out government-funded integration courses for immigrants.
This led to a drop in income over the past four years of €40m.
To get its finances in order, 500 jobs are being cut and the school group will cut its property portfolio in half, to 100,000 square metres.
In July, the Telegraaf reported the Zadkine group was one of four regional training colleges to have invested heavily in interest rate derivatives in an effort to offset the cost of loans to build new buildings..

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