Adtalem to acquire Walden University from Laureate Education for $1.48B in cash
Adtalem (ATGE) announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Walden University, an online healthcare education provider, from Laureate Education (LAUR), Inc. for $1.48B in cash.
With the addition of Walden, Adtalem will become a national healthcare educator, providing workforce solutions to employers through learning modalities with academic outcomes.
By adding Walden to its existing healthcare portfolio, Adtalem said it is better positioned to increase the talent supply to address the rapidly growing and unmet demand for healthcare professionals in the U.S. and globally.
The combined organization will have 26 campuses across 15 states and four countries, 6,100 faculty members, and more than 90,000 students with 34% African American enrollees.
The company said, “The acquisition is expected to provide significant potential for growth and margin expansion through new and expanded offerings as well as revenue and cost synergies.
These financial benefits are expected to lead to substantial gross margin and EBITDA margin expansion, and robust cash flow generation to invest in its offerings while paying down debt.”
Adtalem expects to generate upside to revenue by providing new and complementary educational offerings, increased student acquisition and retention capabilities as well as enhanced scale and coverage that will allow for new partnerships with large-sized employer partners in the healthcare sector.
The company noted, “The purchase price represents a compelling, pre-synergy adjusted EBITDA multiple of 8.4x, and the transaction is expected to contribute significantly to Adtalem’s free cash flow and earnings per share, generating $60 million in incremental free cash flow excluding special items in year one and adding $0.75 in earnings per share from continuing operations excluding special items in year two as synergies begin to offset the dilutive effect of purchase price accounting.”
Adtalem expects to generate annual cost savings of approximately $60M driven by increased efficiencies in marketing spend and back office operations. Approximately $30M of these cost savings are anticipated within 12 months of closing and the remainder within 24 months of closing.
Additionally, Adtalem expects that this acquisition will generate between 10% and 12% ROIC beginning in year one, significantly exceeding the company’s current WACC of approximately 8%.
Adtalem expects to fund the cash consideration through a combination of cash from its balance sheet and committed debt financing.
Adtalem expects to realize the full potential of the transaction while maintaining a strong balance sheet.
The transaction is expected to close in Q1 of FY22, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
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