BALTIMORE, July 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Laureate Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: LAUR) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) for the sale of its Australian and New Zealand operations – Torrens University Australia and Think Education in Australia and Media Design School in New Zealand.
The three operations have approximately 19,000 students enrolled in technical, undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines, including Business, Education, Hospitality, Design and Creative Technology, and Health. Torrens University was founded by Laureate in 2014 and was the first new university to open in Australia in 20 years. Think Education joined Laureate in 2013, seven years after it was established. Media Design School, founded in New Zealand 22 years ago, became part of the Laureate network in 2011.
Strategic Education, Inc. is an established operator of campus-based and online higher education institutions in the United States, including Capella and Strayer Universities.
The purchase price is US$642.7 million and is subject to certain closing adjustments based on the aggregate working capital and indebtedness and on forecasted performance. Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School will remain part of the Laureate International Universities network until the closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur by the first quarter of 2021. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by relevant Australian and New Zealand authorities and a mutual right of termination based on the occurrence of a material adverse change in certain forecasted performance.
Commenting on the transaction, President and Chief Executive Officer of Laureate, Eilif Serck-Hanssen said, “This transaction is an outgrowth of the process Laureate initiated earlier this year to explore strategic alternatives for each of its business units. We’re incredibly proud of what our Australian and New Zealand teams have achieved – from establishing Australia’s first new university in two decades, to consistently delivering quality student learning experiences with high employability outcomes. We have built a highly efficient student centric culture focused on strong ties to employers and community partners – and we have been rewarded with robust growth and student loyalty. Under the stewardship of Strategic Education, Inc., I’m confident that our institutions will continue to be supported in delivering on their mission of providing highly innovative programs with high student satisfaction and strong outcomes.”
Karl McDonnell, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Education, Inc., said: “We’re excited to be expanding our business into the Australian and New Zealand markets. We have been impressed by the growth and impact the three Laureate institutions have made and look forward to welcoming Torrens University, Think Education and Media Design School into our network.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Laureate, and Allens, DLA Piper New Zealand and Allen & Overy acted as legal advisors.
About Laureate Education, Inc.
Laureate Education, Inc. has built the largest international portfolio of degree-granting higher education institutions, primarily focused in Latin America, with more than 850,000 students enrolled at over 25 institutions with more than 150 campuses, which we collectively refer to as the Laureate International Universities network. Laureate offers high-quality, undergraduate, graduate and specialized degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines that provide attractive employment prospects. Laureate believes that when our students succeed, countries prosper and societies benefit.