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Why Shares of Apollo Education Group Inc. Jumped Today

By Timothy Green - Feb 8, 2016 at 1:19PM

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The private education company is being taken private at a time of incredible uncertainty and volatility in the industry.

What: Shares of Apollo Education Group (APOL) jumped on Monday after the company announced that it had accepted a buyout offer from a consortium of buyers. At 12:15 p.m. ET Monday, the stock was up about 24%.

So what: A group of investors, including The Vistria Group and Najafi Companies, agreed to pay $9.50 in cash for each share of Apollo Education. This price represents a 44% premium over the stock's closing price on Jan. 8.

Apollo Education CEO Greg Cappelli touted the deal. "This new structure will allow Apollo Education Group the flexibility and runway it needs to complete the transformational plan at University of Phoenix, which will enable us to serve our students more effectively during a period of unprecedented volatility within our industry. We will also continue to expand our international operations and remain committed to driving principles of operating excellence."

Now what: This acquisition comes at a difficult time for private education companies. Shares of Apollo Education have tumbled 66% over the past year and 80% over the past five years, as the industry and the company have been rocked by regulatory issues.

APOL Chart

APOL data by YCharts.

Tony Miller, who will become chairman of the Apollo Education Board once the deal is complete, talked about the plan to turn around the company. "We are excited by the opportunity to build on the transformational work being done by the company. For too long and too often, the private education industry has been characterized by inadequate student outcomes, overly aggressive marketing practices, and poor compliance. This doesn't need to be the case. We are committed to accelerating and enhancing efforts to establish University of Phoenix as the leading provider of quality higher education for working adults and to continue supporting the organization's commitment to operating in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards."

For Apollo investors, this deal isn't a bad outcome, given the myriad issues facing the company.

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