Apollo Education Group Shareholders Approve University Of Phoenix Merger

Published: Friday, May 6, 2016 - 3:07pm
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2016 - 3:19pm
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Apollo Education Group executive offices in Phoenix.

A higher cash offer was enough to seal the deal for Apollo Education Group shareholders. On  Friday afternoon they approved a merger agreement that will take the University of Phoenix private.

After failing to get enough votes last week, a consortium of private investors raised their offer to $10 per share, 50 cents more than the previous offer.

In 2004, shares for Apollo Education Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, peaked at nearly $96. On Friday, shares closed just shy of $9.

Over the last few years, for-profit educators like the University of Phoenix have faced tougher federal scrutiny over their marketing practices, financial aid and graduation rates.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

In a news release, Greg Cappelli, chief executive officer of Apollo Education Group said, “This has been a robust process in which our Board of Directors reviewed many strategic alternatives and found this transaction to be in the best interest of all stakeholders. We believe this new ownership structure will allow Apollo Education Group to continue to transform University of Phoenix, further expand our global operations, drive operational efficiency, and serve as the leading provider of high quality education for working adults.”

When the transaction closes Tony Miller, partner at the Vistria Group who will become chairman of the Apollo Education Group. He was deputy secretary of education under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013.

In a written statement Miller said, "We are committed to making University of Phoenix the most trusted provider of career-relevant higher education for working adults in the country. We have a vision for how to dramatically improve student outcomes while addressing the concerns from critics of the for-profit education industry. It remains our belief that success is rooted in graduating students with the knowledge and skills that employers need, in an affordable way that ensures a compelling return on their educational investment."