AURELIUS acquires AKAD University – a pioneer of private distance learning universities


AURELIUS acquires AKAD University – a pioneer of private distance learning universities

  • Reputable university with a strong brand and growth potential
  • Second purchase from the Franz Cornelsen Bildungsgruppe
  • Purchase at terms and conditions typical for AURELIUS

Munich, April 17, 2014 – The Munich-based AURELIUS Group (ISIN DEoooAoJKosA8) is acquiring AKAD Bildungsgesellschaft mbH and AKAD Kolleg für Erwachsenenbildung GmbH from the Franz Cornelsen Bildungsgruppe. Since 1959, AKAD University has been active in the area of private further education pursued parallel to professional work. As a pioneer in the distance learning market, it has an excellent reputation with students and industry and holds a strong market position as number two in the market for private distance learning universities. The Company most recently generated around EUR 16.5 million in revenues with approximately 9,000 students. For Franz Cornelsen Bildungsholding, the sale is part of its concentration on its core business and the second sale of a subsidiary to AURELIUS following the sale of Studienkreis about a year ago.

The market for distance learning degree programs has grown robustly in recent years. The number of students at the ten most important private distance learning universities has increased by approximately 12 percent per year. Meanwhile, a total of around 40,000 people choose this path. The market volume for in-company advanced vocational training and cooperations with companies currently exceeds EUR 30 billion in Germany. “AKAD University is a classic AURELIUS case in a robustly expanding future market,” says AURELIUS Executive Board member Donatus Albrecht. “AURELIUS plans to carry through with the consolidation strategy already implemented by Cornelsen, to lead the study program further into the digital age, and to realize growth through additional future-oriented courses of study. This results in excellent potential for AKAD and an extremely interesting investment for AURELIUS.” 

AURELIUS is consistently further expanding its commitment in the area of private education with the takeover. The AURELIUS subsidiary Studienkreis concentrates on the support of students in elementary, junior high and high school. The professionalized private tutorial classes accompanying primary studies as a permanent institution is enjoying constantly rising demand. AKAD University is an ideal supplement to this service. It provides both academics as well as non-academics with high quality further education in tandem with their jobs. “For us, private education is one of the most interesting future markets,” says Albrecht.

“The trend toward ‘lifelong learning’ is the result of the changing work environment.” “In light of the challenges that are also arising in the educational market as a result of digitalization, we decided a little more than a year ago to focus the Franz Cornelsen Bildungsgruppe more narrowly and to concentrate the larger investments on its core K-12 business and other publishing-related areas,” says Dr. Alexander Bob, Chairman of the Management Board of Franz Cornelsen Bildungsholding. “This made it clear that we would look for an investor for AKAD who would like to raise the potential inherent in the adult education market and was capable of doing so.  Aurelius was our first choice after the positive experiences with it during the sale and continuation of Studienkreis GmbH. This provides AKAD with the opportunity to rise to the leading private distance learning university in Germany.”