Shares of Laureate Education (LAUR -3.27%) were soaring 18% in morning trading Friday after Adtalem Global Education (ATGE -0.54%) announced it was acquiring Walden University from Laureate for almost $1.5 billion in cash.
Walden is Laureate's for-profit online health-education provider focusing on doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and graduate certificate programs. It is one of the largest private colleges in terms of total enrollment.
Laureate has sold off numerous assets in recent years, and Walden University will remain part of the Laureate International Universities network until the closing of the transaction, which isn't expected to occur until the end of 2021.
Adtalem was formerly DeVry University, a large for-profit institution, and today it runs a number of colleges including Chamberlain University, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. It has 6,700 employees with 26 campus locations.
Adtalem's stock was trading 1.5% lower on the news.