30 years ago, banks were largely regional in nature. Today, big banks not only have a nationwide footprint in the U.S., but a huge international presence as well.
This begs the question: will the big U.S. for-profit education companies ever focus on international markets? Will there ever be a Citibank equivalent in the education space?
UOPX, Kaplan and others have dabbled internationally, but Laureate is the only major provider who has a significant portion of revenues from international operations. There are certainly acquisition targets out there: Veris in Brazil, UNITEC in Mexico and New Oriental in China come directly to mind. Valuations may be rich, but learnings from the US market certainly have synergistic value in maturing markets, especially with regard to marketing and online education.
Check out this presentation from Howard Levy, EVP of Kaplan. It not only gives a decent overview of the US for-profit market but highlights international opportunities as well.