St. Louis, MO, Boston, MA, & New York, NY, Sept 18, 2009 – Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc. (“Vatterott” or “the Company”) today announced that TA Associates (“TA”) and management have entered into an agreement to acquire the Company from Wellspring Capital Management (“Wellspring”).
Vatterott, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the leading providers of career-oriented post-secondary education in the United States. Vatterott offers a diversified range of diploma programs, associate degrees and bachelor degrees in advanced trade industries, allied health, culinary arts and computer technology. The Company serves more than 7,500 students annually on 22 campuses across nine midwestern states. The Vatterott management team, led by chief executive officer Pam Bell, will continue to lead the Company under TA’s ownership.
Ms. Bell said, “Wellspring was instrumental in helping Vatterott position itself for its next stage of development. We look forward to working with TA as we continue to provide outstanding programs for the growing number of students who seek practical job-focused education to learn a new trade and gain meaningful employment in this tough economic environment.”
Under Wellspring’s ownership, Vatterott has grown into a leading career school. Over the past six years, Wellspring revamped Vatterott’s real estate portfolio, built a world-class technological infrastructure, diversified its program curriculum and assembled a “best in class” management team led by Ms. Bell.
William F. Dawson, Jr., a Managing Partner of Wellspring Capital said, “Vatterott has been a very successful investment for Wellspring and is a terrific example of our ability to develop and transform businesses in our portfolio. While Vatterott was a well-regarded school with good market share when we acquired it, we were able to grow the Company from a narrowly focused family business into a professionally administered institution. We believe Vatterott will continue to thrive under TA’s ownership. We wish Pam Bell, her management team and the people of Vatterott continued success in the future.”
Jeffrey S. Barber, a Managing Director of TA Associates said, “We are excited to partner with the Vatterott management team to build upon the school’s mission to provide quality student-centric, career-focused training. We believe the school provides its students a unique offering of high-quality education and job training across a wide range of in-demand programs.”
The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, is subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
BMO Capital Markets served as financial advisor to Vatterott with respect to this transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal counsel and Dow Lohnes PLLC as regulatory counsel to Wellspring and Vatterott. Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel and Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC as regulatory counsel to TA.
About Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc.
St. Louis-based Vatterott was established in 1969 and currently operates twenty two (22) campuses in Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Vatterott provides post-secondary diploma, associate degree and bachelor degree vocational training programs.
About Wellspring Capital Management
Wellspring Capital Management, founded in 1995, is a leading middle-market private equity firm that manages more than $2 billion of private equity capital. The firm’s objective is to bring partnership, experience and value creation to each investment. By teaming up with strong management, Wellspring is able to unlock underlying value and pursue new growth opportunities through strategic initiatives, operating improvements and add-on acquisitions. The firm functions as a strategic rather than tactical partner, providing management teams with top-line support, M&A experience and financial expertise, and access to resources.
About TA Associates
Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms. The firm has invested in nearly 400 companies and manages more than $16 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, London, Menlo Park and Mumbai, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.