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Laureate Education files IPO with $4.7 billion debt

Laureate Education files IPO with $4.7 billion debt

When Baltimore-based Laureate Education filed for an initial public offering last week, it disclosed $4.7 billion in debt that has been cutting into the company's bottom line, with hundreds of millions in losses over the past several years.

The for-profit educational company was publicly traded until 2007, when its founder and a group of other investors took it private in a $3.8 billion buyout. Since then, the company has grown its web of career-focused universities — mostly outside the United States — but some analysts said it was time for Laureate to slow down and address its significant debt.

"I would expect the company to focus on paying down debt right...