- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Apollo Education is being taken private in a $1.1 billion deal by a consortium led by private investment firm The Vistria Group.

Shares jumped 24 percent Monday.

The announcement comes about a month after the owner of the University of Phoenix and Western International University among others signaled that it may be looking for a buyer.

Apollo Education has had several lackluster quarters as enrollments at for-profit schools fell amid increased government scrutiny of the industry.

Shareholders of Apollo Education Group Inc. will receive $9.50 per share, a 37 percent premium to the Phoenix-based company’s $6.95 Friday closing price.

Vistria is joined in the buyout by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management LLC and Najafi Cos.

Tony Miller, chief operating officer of Vistria and a former deputy secretary of the Department of Education, would be Apollo’s chairman.

The acquisition, already approved by Apollo’s board, is expected to close by August. It still needs approval from the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission and state regulatory and programmatic accreditation bodies. The deal also needs approval from a majority of Apollo Education’s Class A and Class B shareholders, voting as separate classes. The Class B shareholders have entered an agreement to vote in favor of the buyout.

Apollo Education shares climbed $1.67 to close at $8.62. Its shares are down 66 percent over the past year.

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