Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Reid Avett and Jake Rifkin represented Graduate School USA (GSUSA) in its acquisition by American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) this week. The deal is a rare instance of a publicly traded company purchasing a not-for-profit. GSUSA will be a new stand-alone subsidiary of APEI when the deal closes, which is expected during the fourth quarter of 2021 subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by or notices to regulatory and accrediting bodies.

Washington, DC-based GSUSA is a leading provider of professional development and training courses for the federal government and private sector. It possesses a catalog of over 300 courses focusing on foundational and continuing professional development, as well as leadership training for government employees.

APEI provides academic programs and services to students, universities, and partner organizations through its subsidiaries American Public University System (APUS) – which encompasses American Public University (APU) and American Military University (AMU) – and National Education Seminars, Inc., known as Hondros College of Nursing. These institutions serve approximately 90,000 adults worldwide and offer more than 240 degree and certificate programs.

Reid Avett is a member of the Corporate & Securities Practice group and based in Womble Bond Dickinson’s DC office. Avett’s clients benefit from his more than 15 years of experience representing public and private companies in complex corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, initial and continued listing on NASDAQ and NYSE, and regulatory compliance. 

Jake Rifkin is based in Womble Bond Dickinson’s Charlotte, NC office where his practice focuses on a variety of corporate transactions. In addition to his legal experience, Rifkin also served as a manager in the corporate and investment bank of a large financial institution.