NEWPORT BEACH, CA September 18, 2008 – Private equity firm ClearLight Partners announced today that it has completed the sale of its portfolio company U.S. Education to DeVry Inc. in a transaction valued at $290 million.
U.S. Education was formed to acquire, develop, and grow private career colleges throughout the Western United States. ClearLight Partners provided funding for U.S. Education in June 2002 to fund the initial acquisition of Silicon Valley College, an allied healthcare and information technology school in the San Francisco Bay area. In 2003, ClearLight Partners provided U.S. Education additional capital for, and assistance with, three acquisitions including Western Career College (February 2003), American Institute of Healthcare Technology (October 2003), and Apollo College (December 2003). As a result, U.S. Education grew from a four-campus school in Northern California to a leading career education company with seventeen campuses across the Western U.S. and a dominant position in allied healthcare training.
ClearLight Partners provided active assistance to U.S. Education in evaluating and executing acquisitions, arranging debt financing, assisting with strategic planning, and filling key management positions. The ClearLight Partners team forged a strong relationship with management to help U.S. Education to become one of the leading providers of healthcare education in the Western United States. With 17 campuses, U.S. Education serves 8,700 students through certificate and degree programs in the rapidly growing fields of nursing, ultrasound and radiography technology, surgical technology, veterinary technology, pharmacy technology, dental hygiene, and medical and dental assisting.
George Montgomery, President and CEO of U.S. Education, said, “We have enjoyed a close, supportive working relationship with the ClearLight team that is characterized by open communication and teamwork. Their involvement has been instrumental in analyzing opportunities, fine-tuning our business strategy and achieving success.”
Jay Shepherd, Partner at ClearLight, stated “We are pleased that our strong partnership with management has resulted in this very successful outcome. They did an outstanding job and we at ClearLight are delighted to have had the opportunity to help them build such a strong company over our six years together.”
Michael S. Kaye, Managing Partner at ClearLight, stated “George Montgomery and his team did an excellent job of leading the company through several key acquisitions and driving strong internal growth to build it into the excellent education franchise that it is today. We at ClearLight are particularly gratified as we initiated and led the recruitment of George to U.S. Education as CEO as well as several other key managers.”
Through its institutions, DeVry is a leading provider of secondary and post secondary degree programs in business, healthcare, and technology. The acquisition of U.S. Education is consistent with DeVry’s strategy of increased diversification in the healthcare field and expanded offerings at the pre-baccalaureate level.
The ClearLight team included Jay F. Shepherd, David W. Reed and Michael S. Kaye.