Arm of World Bank Buys $150-Million Stake in Laureate Education

Laureate Education, a company that operates a network of 65 universities in 29 countries, has received a $150-million investment from the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank.

A Laureate spokesman, Matthew Yale, said the company, with about $3-billion in annual revenues, will use the money to continue its expansion, possibly to locations in Africa (Laureate has a campus in Morocco) and Latin America, where the company has an extensive presence. ”Their mandate to us is ‘emerging markets,’” said Mr. Yale.

More than 750,000 students attend institutions that make up the Laureate International Universities, a network that includes the all-online Walden University and several campuses in the United States.

Officials at International Finance said the investment was the largest of its $550-million education portfolio. With the deal, the corporation becomes another of the private owners of Laureate, with a stake worth less than 5 percent of the higher-education company. Once publicly traded, Laureate went private about six years ago. Last year its executives took steps to go public again, but that effort has since been put on hold, reportedly because of unfavorable market conditions.

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