Laureate Education Inc., long-based in offices in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood, moved its headquarters to Miami following the shift to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adam Smith, spokesman for the international higher education society, said on Thursday that the society’s headquarters had moved from Baltimore to Miami, although the Florida base is little more than a central address for purposes official, on a WeWork site.
The company, which once operated 71 private universities in 25 countries, has sold off its holdings in recent years and now has just five universities in Mexico and Peru.
Smith said the company decided to walk away completely after sending employees home to work in March 2020 from the former offices on three floors in the 650 Exeter St. building. He left that property earlier this year.
“We never went back to the office,” Smith said. “We developed a remote work policy over several months. We have found that our corporate staff are adapting extremely well to working remotely. »
The company has developed agreements with coworking operators WeWork and Regus in Baltimore and Miami as an option for its remote workers. But most of the American workforce is working from home, Smith said. For several months, office furniture from the Harbor East building was donated to area nonprofits and schools, he said.
Laureate was born out of Sylvan Learning Corp., a tutoring company originally from Maryland, Douglas Becker and business partners acquired in 1991. Over the years, Sylvan has become a pioneer in franchise private tutoring and has expanded to include d other educational services, including testing. preparation and a network of international universities.
Laureate, which began as a university in 1999 with the hope of expanding access to education in underserved areas of the globe, has grown significantly in 2017, employing more than 67,000 people worldwide. At that time, it had the world’s largest network of degree-granting institutions of higher learning and employed more than 1,100 people at its Baltimore headquarters and an office in Colombia.
But its road to growth has been bumpy, leaving the company saddled with more than $4 billion in debt after it was bought out by private equity in 2007, grew rapidly and then went public in 2017. Becker left the company just months after the IPO. and, in 2018, it began selling off some of its schools.
In January 2020, the company began evaluating each of its businesses for possible sale or spin-off. It then agreed to divest its operations in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the United States, Chile and Brazil. The decision to sell in each case was based on commercial, geopolitical, regulatory and market factors, Eilif Serck-Hanssen, president and CEO of Laureate, said in a statement.
On Thursday, Miami-based Laureate released its second-quarter financial results, reporting profit of $43.6 million in the three months ended June 30, reversing a loss of $29.2 million. in the second quarter of 2021 which it attributed to a loss on extinguishment of debt. The company’s revenue jumped 18% to $385.4 million.