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The Advisory Board to acquire Royall & Co. for $850 million

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The Advisory Board Co. plans to expand its presence in the higher-education services market by acquiring Richmond-based Royall & Co. for $850 million.

The Advisory Board, a Washington, D.C.-based, publicly traded technology, research and services company, has focused on health care for much of its 35-year history but branched out into education seven years ago.

Royall  is a Richmond-based student recruitment and enrollment management services company with 350 college and university customers.

The deal will include $750 million in cash and $100 million in Advisory Board stock, which is traded on Nasdaq.

“Our combination with Royall & Co., the clear leader in providing strategic, data-driven student engagement and enrollment solutions, accelerates the extension of our model into higher education and gives us a fantastic platform for growth, expansion, and member value creation,” Robert Musslewhite, chairman and CEO of the Advisory Board, said in a statement.

Founded by Bill Royall in 1983, Royall & Co. has moved from nonprofit fundraising to student recruitment services in 1989. Royall is chairman of the company. Its  president and CEO is John Nester.

The Advisory Board had a net income of $15.4 million for the 12 months ending Sept. 30 while Royall and Co.’s net income was $9.7 million.

The Advisory Board has relationships with 3,900 hospitals and health systems through more than 50 programs. It also has a 7-program higher education portfolio serving more than 600 colleges and universities.




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