The World’s Biggest For-Profit College Company, Laureate Education, Raises $490 Million In Public Debut
Thursday, February 9, 2017
The largest for-profit college company on the planet raised $490 million in its public debut on Wednesday.
Laureate Education, an education juggernaut that is backed by big-name investors like Henry Kravis and Steve Cohen and counts Bill Clinton as its former honorary chancellor, listed its stock on the Nasdaq. Shares sunk 8% to $12.87 in the first few minutes of trading on Wednesday; They closed 5% lower at $13.25. Laureate priced 35 million shares at $14 apiece on Tuesday evening, which was sharply below the expected range of $17 to $20.
The company, which operates colleges primarily outside the United States, is notable for being the first public benefit corporation to go public. That means it incorporated as a new type of company that seeks to balance an appetite for profits with the desire to positively impact society.
This is in addition to its certification as a B Corp by the non-profit B Lab, along with 2,000 other companies like Patagonia and Warby Parker, most of whom have opted to stay private. (Laureate is only the third B Corp to go public; the others are Etsy and Rally Software.)