KDDI CORPORATION (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President Takashi Tanaka, hereinafter "KDDI") and AEON Holdings Corporation of Japan (Head office: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, Chairman and President: Kiyoshi Aki, hereinafter "AEON HD") hereby announce that they concluded a share transfer agreement for KDDI to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in AEON HD from the company shareholders on November 22, 2017.
KDDI plans to acquire all of the shares in AEON HD on January 22, 2018, with the goal of entering into the education market which is expected to continue to grow and expand.
The need for foreign language learning is anticipated to increase from the year 2020 with English becoming a formal subject in elementary schools, the introduction of the four English proficiency tests in university entrance examinations, and support for inbound demand due to the rapid increase in foreign tourists visiting Japan, so the foreign language education field is expected to be a domestic growth market.
As the leading company in foreign language education, AEON HD continues to provide a comprehensive lineup of services in the fields of English, Japanese, and Chinese language instruction as well as overseas study support in a market which is expected to continue to grow and expand.
The goal of the shareholder change is to combine the information and communications technologies ("ICT") cultivated by KDDI with the "highly experienced instructors, original educational materials, and study abroad services" developed and accumulated by AEON HD over many years to jointly offer learning content that is tailored to each individual customer and provide new forms of value and services to customers.
KDDI will merge the assets of both companies going forward and is exploring services such as curriculum optimization support for learners using AI technology and virtual English conversation programs using VR technology.
KDDI possesses a customer base of over 39 million (as of the end of September 2017, not including corporate customers) au cell phones and smartphones and over 9.5 million (as of the end of September 2017) fixed-line communication services. In addition to these communication services, the company is also engaged in the fields of energy, commerce, finance, payment, and travel as a "life design company" which provides services that are embedded in the daily lives of their customers.
To meet the social need for high-quality language learning in a global society, KDDI and AEON HD will combine "education" and "ICT" to promote "EdTech", which is essential in the life events of all people.