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John Bryce Training goes tits up

Used to be called Aris Education

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John Bryce Training UK Ltd (JBT), the company formerly known as Aris Education, has gone tits up, with debts estimated at £4.3m.

All staff at the computer training company – thought to number up to 70 – have been made redundant, and will not be paid this month, according to a source. JBT UK has training centres in London, Birmingham, Oxford and Coventry.

JBT's UK arm was placed in administrative receivership on Friday, July 19, by Bank Leumi, of Israel. Parent company JBT Israel is understood to be bust as well. BDO Stoy Hayward’s London office is handling the UK insolvency.

JBT also owns subs in the Germany, Hungary and Turkey, which are thought to be trading normally. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mentergy, an online learning business headquartered in Israel.

Mentergy, then called Gilat Communications (Gilat Satcom is a separate company recently spun out of Mentergy), bought Aris Education, the UK training business of Aris, a US Microsoft reseller, in August 2000 for $13m in cash and stock.

Aris Education in turn came to the UK through the purchase of Oxford Computing, founded in 1983 and one of the best known names on the UK IT training scene. The company is a Microsoft CTEC and holds accreditations for Oracle and Check Point, among others.

JBT UK was recently named as the 19th biggest IT training company in the IT Skills Research league table of The Top 50 UK IT Training Providers -2002
. It has been contracting in size in recent months. As many as 40 staff have left the business, either through redundancy or voluntarily, since last November.

But as recently as May this year, Mentergy boasted of moves at John Bryce Training UK Ltd, designed to "lift it into the big league" on both sides of the Atlantic. ®

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