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AUSTIN-The Texas Culinary Academy has a new owner who wants to expand. Career Education Corp., based in Hoffman Estates, IL bought the Austin-based cooking school for an undisclosed sum. The transaction brings the first Texas operation into the fold of Career Education, which operates cooking schools in other states and provides a range of post-secondary educational services.

The Texas Culinary Academy is in north Austin at 6020 Dillard Dr. and just west of Highland Mall. It was founded in 1986 and offers an associate degree in culinary arts. Harvey Giblin will continue as the academy’s president.

The company expects to make significant investment in the Austin operation, he says. The nonprofit academy has about $10 million in annual revenue.

The new facility that Career Education is looking for will house a Le Cordon Bleu culinary arts program, a well-known and respected cooking instruction. The company expects that will draw more and more students. “The introduction of the Cordon Bleu program will have a swift impact on attracting new students to that school,” John Larson, Career Education’s chairman, CEO and president, said. He addressed Wall Street analysts Tuesday during Career Education’s conference call about its quarterly financial results. The company has said its capital spending in 2001 will reach $35 million to $40 million, with some of that going to the Austin academy.

Career Education is third in its market of providing private, for-profit post-secondary education with 31,000 students enrolled in its programs as of July 31. For the quarter ending July 31, the company posted revenues of $121.3 million, a 65% increase over the same quarter in 2000. Profit was $5 million, 22 cents a share, up from $2.4 million, 13 cents a share.

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