American Public (APEI) Set to Acquire GSUSA, Fortify APUS

American Public Education, Inc. APEI has inked a deal to acquire Graduate School USA’s ("GSUSA") assets for a purchase price of $1 million. GSUSA will act as a new stand-alone subsidiary of American Public.

GSUSA — one of the leading training providers to the federal government — will strongly support American Public's "Educating Those Who Serve" strategy. Also, the alliance represents a strong adjacency to American Public University System's (APUS) core military and veteran student populations. The acquisition will further support American Public's focus on career training and degrees that help provide pathways to employment and career advancement.

The transaction is likely to close in fourth-quarter 2021, subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by or notices to regulatory and accrediting bodies. American Public does not expect any material impact to its in 2021 results related to GSUSA.

A Glimpse of GSUSA

Established in 1921, GSUSA is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which trains the federal workforce through more than 300 courses — specializing in foundational and continuing professional development — as well as leadership training. Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training, GSUSA trains through both in-person and virtual learning.

GSUSA serves more than 100 government agency customers. This includes Department of Defense and branches, the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Interior, Justice as well as State Department.

Over the past three years, GSUSA has generated more than $20 million average annual revenues. On an average, it served approximately 15,000 open enrollment students in each of the past three years.

Angela Selden, American Public's CEO, said, "The acquisition of GSUSA further advances APEI's HEROI focus of offering career training and degrees that provide pathways to employment and advancement, creating opportunities for individuals to succeed and achieve their goals. GSUSA's curriculum and student populations represent tight adjacency with the markets that APEI currently serves. Graduate School USA is a non-Title IV business that will help diversify APEI with a strong foothold in the workforce training marketplace.”

American Public’s Initiatives to Aid Enrollment

American Public’s leading position in online education is proving to be highly beneficial for the company in the current situation. Also, a strategic shift to the new cloud-based next-generation online campus and increased demand owing to the competitive job market as well as historically high unemployment are adding to the positives.

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American Public — which shares space with Laureate Education, Inc. LAUR, Universal Technical Institute, Inc. UTI and Strategic Education, Inc. STRA in the same industry — has undertaken several initiatives to improve enrollment trends and students’ persistence. The company has improved the quality of student mix, introduced new tools for students, and taken measures to increase students’ engagement as well as classroom interactivity. Also, it has launched competency-based programs under an initiative called APUS Momentum. The company believes that greater students’ persistence will lead to improved online learning experience, increased graduation rates and higher referral rates.

Shares of American Public — a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company — have gained 7.5% in the past three months against the industry’s 50.1% fall.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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