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Laureate Education sells U.S. health schools for $400 million

Laureate Education Inc. will sell its four health education schools that operate under the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences name for $400 million, the Baltimore-based owner and operator of for-profit schools announced Wednesday.

The University of St. Augustine is being acquired by Altas Partners, a Toronto-based investment firm.

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Established in 1979, the school operates campuses in St. Augustine and Miami, Fla; San Marcos, Calif.; and Austin, Texas, and also offers online courses. It offers degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing, as well as continuing education programs.

Nearly a year into its second foray as a public company Laureate Education is preparing to install its second-ever chief executive, who will have the challenge of lifting the company out of debt while pursuing aggressive growth.

The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, contingent on approval by regulators and accreditation agencies.

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Damon Conway, an Altas Partners principal, called the University of St. Augustine "a world-class institution that delivers exceptional student outcomes."

Laureate Education, whose stock rose 29 cents to close at $14.14 a share on Wednesday, has been selling universities from its network of 60 institutions around the world, in part to pay down debt.

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