EduK Group Adds On

EduK Group, a post-secondary educational institution in Puerto Rico, has acquired Ponce Paramedical College. No financial terms were disclosed. EduK is a portfolio company of Leeds Equity Partners.

PRESS RELEASE
EduK Group, the leading proprietary postsecondary institution in Puerto Rico, and its majority shareholder Leeds Equity Partners, the New York-based private equity firm, today announced the acquisition of Ponce Paramedical College.  Financial details were not disclosed.

The addition of Ponce Paramedical College strengthens EduK Group’s market leading position and enhances its commitment to delivering quality education programs in Puerto Rico.  Ponce Paramedical College offers associate’s degrees and diplomas primarily in the field of allied health across two locations in Puerto Rico, serving over 2,000 students.  The United States Department of Education has certified Ponce Paramedical College as an eligible institution to participate in Title IV programs pursuant to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.  Ponce Paramedical College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges of Technologies.
 
Guillermo Nigaglioni, President of EduK Group, said, “Our objective is to expand opportunities for the development of young people in Puerto Rico, focusing on programs and degrees that reflect the needs of our economy.  Ponce Paramedical College has a long and successful history of offering high quality programs that have led to great student outcomes, and we are thrilled to be adding this institution to the EduK Group.”

Ponce Paramedical College will become the third academic system under EduK Group, adding to its existing two school systems, Instituto de Banca y Comercio (IBC) and National College of Business & Technology (NCBT).  Following the acquisition, EduK Group will have nearly 2,000 employees and over 17,000 students

The investment in Ponce Paramedical represents a continuation of Leeds Equity’s focus on Spanish/English postsecondary education.  Brad Whitman, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners and EduK board member, said, “Since acquiring EduK Group in March 2007 we have focused on adding new programs with strong student value propositions and entering underserved markets.  Ponce Paramedical College helps us fulfill this strategy.” Atif Gilani, Principal at Leeds Equity Partners and EduK board member, added, “We are excited to acquire a higher education institution with strong presence in the local community and a long track record of success.”

Alberto Aristiz�bal-Ocampo, the founder of Ponce Paramedical College noted, “I founded Ponce Paramedical in 1983 and have spent the last 25 years building its reputation as a high quality provider of postsecondary education in Puerto Rico that equips students with the skills needed to obtain a high quality job.  I believe that Ponce Paramedical College has found an outstanding partner in EduK Group, who will continue to focus on these same core values.”

 

About Leeds Equity Partners
Leeds Equity Partners, LLC is a New York-based private equity firm which manages the largest private equity fund in the United States focused on investments in the education, training and information industries (“Knowledge Industries”).

Postsecondary education has been a key focus area for the firm throughout its history.  In 2000, Leeds Equity acquired Ross University, a medical and veterinary school located in the Caribbean.  Ross was sold to DeVry, Inc. in 2003.  In 2006, Leeds Equity partnered with Providence Equity and Goldman Sachs to acquire Education Management Corporation in a $3.4 billion going private transaction, a transaction that was originated and developed by Leeds Equity.  In 2007 Leeds Equity acquired the EduK Group.

The Firm was founded in 1993 by Jeffrey T. Leeds and Robert A. Bernstein. The Board of Advisors of Leeds Equity Partners includes, among others, Dr. Rod Paige, former Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush; Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education under President Clinton and two-term Governor of South Carolina; and Tim Fitzpatrick, the former CEO of Sallie Mae Corporation.

About EduK Group
EduK Group is the largest for-profit provider of postsecondary education in Puerto Rico, and the 3rd largest postsecondary school system on the island.  EduK provides education at 24 locations.  Headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, EduK employs approximately 1,500 faculty and staff and has average enrollment exceeding 15,000 students.

EduK’s education institutions offer a broad range of academic programs concentrated in healthcare, business, information technology, culinary, cosmetology, industrial trades and education, culminating in the award of associate and bachelor’s degrees as well as diplomas.  EduK was founded in 1975 and has demonstrated high historical placement rates for its graduates.  EduK operates through the following two educational systems.

Instituto de Banca y Comercio (IBC)
IBC (www.ibanca.net) offers diploma programs at 20 locations across a variety of fields, including cosmetology, healthcare, business, information technology, culinary and industrial trades.  IBC is the largest career college in Puerto Rico with over 10,000 students.  Programs are typically twelve months in duration. The United States Department of Education has certified IBC as an eligible institution to participate in Title IV programs pursuant to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.  IBC is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

National College of Business and Technology (NCBT)
NCBT (www.nationalcollegepr.edu) offers primarily associate and bachelor’s programs at 4 locations across a variety of fields, including healthcare, business, information technology and education.  NCBT has over 5,000 students.  Programs are typically 18 to 36 months. The United States Department of Education has certified NCBT as an eligible institution to participate in Title IV programs pursuant to the Federal Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.  NCBT is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).