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Laureate Mulling Sale of Walden University

November 9, 2018
 
 

Laureate Education is considering a possible transaction involving its Walden University, according to a corporate filing the global higher education company released Thursday.

"We have had exploratory conversations with third parties regarding possible alternative transactions involving Walden," Laureate said.

The Baltimore-based Laureate in recent years has sold off colleges in the U.S. and other countries to focus on large and emerging markets. In the filing, the publicly traded company said it was simplifying by creating two "scaled" operations: a campus-based one in Latin America and a fully online institution in the U.S. Laureate currently enrolls over one million students at 60 institutions.

Walden is an online institution based in Minneapolis that focuses heavily on graduate programs. It enrolls roughly 50,000 students, according to federal data.

Laureate's vague language about alternative transactions could suggest interest in a possible acquisition by another university. Purdue University charted new territory last year with its deal to acquire the for-profit Kaplan University. The resulting Purdue University Global has begun operating under a 30-year contract with Kaplan Inc., which runs much of the nonacademic side of the university.

However, Laureate said Thursday that a Walden transaction is not a sure thing, and that the company might opt to retain the university.

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