Adtalem Agrees to Buy Walden University for $1.48 Billion

Adtalem Global Education Inc. agreed to acquire Walden University from Laureate Education Inc. for $1.48 billion in cash, as the company seeks to expand its health-care offerings.

The deal will generate annual cost savings for Adtalem of about $60 million, according to a statement Friday that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. The acquisition should contribute to cash flow in the first year and boost earnings per share in year two, it said.

Shares of Laureate, based in Baltimore, surged as much as 26% in New York trading, giving the company a market value of $3.2 billion. Chicago-based Adtalem was unchanged, giving it a market capitalization of $1.62 billion.

Walden, which offers more than 80 degree programs, was founded in 1970 to offer academic qualifications to working professionals and is located in Minneapolis.

Adtalem’s health-care portfolio already includes American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Chamberlain University and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. With the acquisition, it aims to tap growing demand for healthcare education that has increased since the global coronavirus pandemic.

“With a wide breadth of online, on-campus and hybrid healthcare program offerings, this acquisition will significantly expand our national healthcare education footprint,” Lisa Wardell, chairman and chief executive officer of Adtalem, said in the statement.

Morgan Stanley advised Adtalem on the deal, and provided committed financing for the transaction.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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