Bridgepoint Education Sets IPO Terms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bridgepoint Education Inc BPI.N disclosed the terms of its $202.5 million IPO on Wednesday, with the deal’s pricing expected in mid-April.

Bridgepoint, a San Diego-based provider of online and in-class education services, which initially filed in December without the terms, said in a regulatory filing it plans to sell 13.5 million shares for between $14 and $16.

The IPO is set to price on April 14, with trading beginning the following day on the New York Stock Exchange, a source close to the deal said.

The market for IPOs remains sluggish in the United States, with only two IPOs since August, but one of those, by Bridgepoint’s rival, Grand Canyon Education Inc (LOPE.O), has performed well. Its shares are up 38.75 percent over the offer price since the IPO in November.

The main bookrunners on the Bridgepoint IPO are Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX) and JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), who will have the option to purchase an additional 2.025 million shares, meaning the IPO could raise as much as $248.4 million if it prices at the top end of the estimate range.

The majority of the shares will be offered by existing shareholders, including private equity firm Warburg Pincus which owns 89.5 percent of the shares, according to the filing. After the IPO, Warburg Pincus will still own about 68.5 percent of Bridgepoint.

The U.S. IPO market is starting to show some signs of life following last month’s IPO by pediatrics nutrition maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co (MJN.N), the largest in nearly a year.

In addition to Bridgepoint, the $100 million IPO by Rosetta Stone Inc (RST.N), which provides language instruction products, is also expected to price in mid-April.

Chinese video game maker Ltd’s (CYOU.O) IPO was set to price on Wednesday.

Bridgepoint’s student enrollment rose 150 percent in 2008 to 31,558, while revenue jumped 155 percent to $218.3 million, the company disclosed in its filing.

Bridgepoint offers its courses on line and runs two traditional campuses in Clinton, Iowa and Colorado Springs, Colorado. As of Dec. 31, 2008, it offered about 44 degree programs with 55 specializations, according to its filing.

Bridgepoint has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BPI.”

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Andre Grenon, Bernard Orr)