Cordon Bleu culinary schools to close in US

Le Cordon Bleu International says it is slowly discontinuing the operations of Le Cordon Bleu North America (AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

New York (AFP) - The Cordon Bleu culinary school will close its 16 campuses in the United States after failed attempts to find the right buyer, the company that operates the locations said.

Created in 1895, France's Le Cordon Bleu presents itself as the world's largest network of culinary and hospitality schools.

Career Education Corporation -- a company independent from Le Cordon Bleu International -- said in a statement that it was slowly discontinuing the operations of Le Cordon Bleu North America and would no longer enroll new students after the start of classes for the January 2016 student cohort.

"New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs," Todd Nelson, Career Education's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

"Despite our best efforts to find a new caretaker for these well-renowned culinary colleges, we could not reach an agreement that we believe was in the best interests of both our students and our stockholders."

All 16 US campuses are projected to stay open until September 2017, according to the statement.

Le Cordon Bleu International said separately that the decision would not affect any of its global operations.

"Le Cordon Bleu schools and programs will continue education and training business as usual" in many other locations including Paris, London, Mexico, Japan and China, it said on its website.

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