Renovus Capital Partners (“Renovus” or the “Fund”) announced today a minority investment in South College of Tennessee. Renovus is an education-focused private equity firm based outside of Philadelphia, PA.
South College offers a variety of degrees in health, legal, education and business ranging from associate to doctoral level. The college is particularly known for its Master’s level program in Physicians Assistant Studies and its accelerated Doctoral level PharmD program. Both are fields that are in high demand and the current success rates for these programs are very positive. The school has approximately 1,100 students across two state-of-the-art campuses in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1882, South College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. southern states and in Latin American for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. Students attending South College are eligible to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV program. The school has consistently produced graduates from its programs that have positively contributed to their chosen professions.
“I have spent 23 years of my life building South College into the school it is today and so when I decided to work with a private equity partner, I wanted a firm that had significant experience working with private colleges,” noted Steve South, South College’s President. “The Renovus team has been working with private colleges since 2006 and has had a great track record of helping to progress these institutions while delivering effective education to students.”
“South College is truly a unique educational institution,” added Atif Gilani, a Renovus founder. “They are one of very few for-profit colleges approved to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy program, a program with significant student demand given the nationwide shortage of pharmacists. We expect this program to grow substantially over the next several years.”
“While we typically do control transactions, we were comfortable making an exception in this case given the strength of the management team,” noted Brad Whitman, a Renovus founder. “Steve and we both believe in combining growth with a focus on educational quality and student outcomes and really see eye-to-eye on the future direction of the school.”
DLA Piper and Dickstein Shapiro advised Renovus on the transaction while Dow Lohnes advised South College.