Early into 2019, the Post-Secondary Education (PSE) industry has already seen a significant rise in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. Year-to-date (YTD), 24 transactions have been announced or closed—roughly double that of YTD 2018. The uptick in M&A reinforces the fact that the PSE market is finally reaching a healthy state where buyers are coming back to the table.
In March, HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA) agreed to acquire for-profit Galen College of Nursing while Career Education Corporation agreed to acquire Trident University International (both highlighted on page four). Nonprofit National University System (NUS) also closed its 2018 announced purchase of for-profit Northcentral University in January (terms undisclosed). In addition to strategic buyers, private equity firms have shown increased interest in the space, as shown by Renovus Capital’s March acquisition of Rasmussen College. NCK Capital also completed its second investment in the PSE industry with the acquisition of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture (September, undisclosed).