Founded 25 years ago, Arden University (Arden) is a specialist higher education provider with 6,500 students on its online distance learning and full-time blended learning courses.

Arden is one of only three for-profit universities in the UK; and was the first online provider to be awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers and University Title since the Open University, more than 50 years ago.

DC Advisory (DC) was engaged by Capella Education Company (Capella), shareholders of Arden, in February 2016 to explore strategic options for the business.

Following a tailored pre-marketing process, DC ran a sales process with financial and trade bidders from three continents, building on the sector expertise and senior relationships of its education franchise.

Following a competitive auction, Global University Systems (GUS), a leading international network of higher education institutions, acquired Arden in August 2016.

The investment by GUS will help Arden to establish its study centres across the UK.

We have really enjoyed working with DC Advisory on this sale. The team provided us with important advice and counsel throughout the sale process and their knowledge of global education and training investors was critical to the success of this transaction.

Steve Polacek
SVP and CFO, Capella Education Company

Arden University has built an excellent platform to serve a large student population with unmet demand. The significant investment that has gone into gaining Taught Degree Awarding Powers and University Title is testament to the quality of the University, and GUS is an excellent partner to support the company in achieving its growth plans.

Matthew Taylor
Executive Director, DC