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Laureate Education files for IPO, public benefit corporation status

The Harbor East-based company could raise up to $1 billion.

Laureate Education filed for an initial public offering on Friday, according to SEC documents.
The for-profit higher education company filed to raise up to $100 million. But that is likely a placeholder, with NASDAQ estimating the Harbor East-based outfit could raise up to $1 billion.
The company has not selected an exchange, and plans to list as LAUR.
Laureate currently oversees 88 institutions in more than 25 countries. The company either owns or manages the universities, and also has contracts with governments and nonprofits.
After spinning out from Sylvan Learning Systems, the company was public from 1993-2007. The company flirted with an IPO in 2012, but remained private.
“We went private with the intention of accomplishing some very specific objectives and, having achieved these goals, we believe it is time for us to re-establish ourselves as a publicly traded company,” CEO Doug Becker said in a letter to potential investors included with the SEC filing. “Being public brings the highest level of transparency, and will enable us to more easily raise capital to support our mission which, at its core, is about expanding access to higher education through greater scale.”
In going public, Laureate is also becoming a public benefit corporation.
The status allows companies to partake in activities that are aimed at benefitting society, in addition to making profits. The company’s benefit is to “produce a positive effect for society and students by offering diverse education programs both online and at campuses around the globe,” a statement said.
“For a long time, we didn’t have an easy way to explain the idea of a for-profit company with such a deep commitment to benefitting society,” Becker said in a statement.
The company’s adherence to the social benefit will be assessed by social entrepreneurship-promoting nonprofit, B Lab.
Laureate is now officially domiciled in Delaware, but will maintain its Baltimore headquarters. (Kinda like this 404 page.)

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