University of Phoenix’s owner is going private in a $1.1-billion deal

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University of Phoenix owner Apollo Education Group Inc. is being taken private in a $1.1-billion deal by a consortium led by the Vistria Group, a private investment firm.

Shares jumped more than 28% in premarket trading Monday.

The announcement comes about a month after the Phoenix-based company signaled that it may be looking for a buyer.

Apollo Education has had several lackluster quarters as enrollments at for-profit schools fall amid increased government scrutiny of the industry.


Shareholders of Apollo Education will receive $9.50 a share, a 37% premium to the company’s $6.95 Friday closing price.

Vistria is joined in the buyout by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and by Najafi Cos.

Tony Miller, chief operating officer of Vistria and a former deputy secretary of Education, would be Apollo’s chairman.

The acquisition, already approved by Apollo’s board, is expected to close by August. It still needs approval from the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission and state regulatory and programmatic accreditation bodies.

The deal also needs approval from a majority of Apollo Education’s Class A and Class B shareholders, voting as separate classes. The Class B shareholders have entered an agreement to vote in favor of the buyout.

Apollo Education shares climbed $1.95, or 28.1%, to $8.90 on premarket trading about an hour and a half before the market open Monday.



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