Online training company iCollege has parted ways with former chairman Ross Cotton as it steps up litigation in an acquisition dispute.

Mr Cotton resigned from the iCollege (ASX:ICT) board on Thursday, following the appointment of litigator Simon Tolhurst earlier this month.

Company secretary Stuart Usher said it was part of a “natural transition”.

“We are building up a strong board and have recently made two new board appointments,”Mr Usher told Stockhead.

“Ross is pursuing other business interests away from the company.”

But the two still have some business to finalise.

Mr Cotton owed the company $90,375 at the end of the 2017 financial year.

Mr Usher said the two parties had entered into a written agreement whereby the loan would be repaid within two years.

With just $12,000 in the bank at the end of June, that might pose a challenge for the company. But iCollege has assured shareholders its latest acquisition of education provider Manthano will bring cash flow back into the black.

“This acquisition takes iCollege to the next level, Mr Usher said.

“We have been stagnant with small acquisitions and have tried to turn the company around but this brings it all together.

“We will still be providing the same courses all around Australia but this is the first time we have had the financial backing.”

Manthano runs hospitality and trade courses across the country for foreign students, and hopes to bolster iCollege’s nursing and aged care training offerings.

The acquisition will be completed with the allocation of 250 million iCollege shares. The shares closed at 3.7c on Thursday, up 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, iCollege is pursuing legal proceedings from a failed 2015 acquisition of NSW-based Management Institute of Australia.

Owner Michael Walker is seeking $9 million as an entitlement payment — claims iCollege has disputed in full.

The new Chairman has given his backing to the company and the case and will provide his legal assistance.