Laureate Education flunks IPO debut: Reuters

Shares of Laureate Education Inc slumped as much as 13.4 percent in their debut on Wednesday, valuing the higher education provider at $1.97 billion, more than a year after it filed to go public.

Laureate, which was taken private by a consortium of investors in 2007, raised $490 million after pricing 35 million class A shares at $14 each, below their expected range of $17-$20.

The company’s shares opened at $12.50 and hit a low of $12.12 on the Nasdaq. The shares hit a morning high of $13.07, well below their offer price.

Laureate, which first filed to go public in October 2015, operates a network of more than 200 university campuses in 25 countries, with 95 percent of its students outside the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s recently announced immigration orders could harm the education sector’s ability to attract and retain highly educated students and workers.

More than a million international students enrolled in public and private U.S. institutions during the 2015-2016 academic year, according to data from the Institute of International Education.

For-profit higher education is currently a controversial and complex business in the United States, given the industry’s reliance on government subsidies, regulatory scrutiny over the sector, and Trump University’s legal battles.

Laureate said in a filing that it plans to use proceeds from the offering to repay, redeem or repurchase debt.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co LLC and Barclays Capital Inc were joint lead bookrunners for the offering.