Corinthian Colleges Inc., one of the largest operators of for-profit career-oriented colleges in the U.S., raised $48.6 million Thursday in an initial stock sale.
The Santa Ana-based owner of vocational schools sold 2.7 million shares at $18 each, the top of the $16 to $18 price range set by Salomon Smith Barney Inc., which handled the sale.
The sale gave Corinthian Colleges a market value of about $186.2 million, based on 10.3 million shares outstanding. Corinthian Colleges will trade under the symbol "COCO" on the Nasdaq stock market.
The company said it planned to use the bulk of the proceeds to repay debt, mainly from Corinthian's acquisition of Phillips Colleges Inc. in Gulfport, Miss.
Corinthian was founded in 1995 by five former executives of National Education Corp. The company initially acquired 16 colleges from NEC, then in 1996 purchased 18 campuses from Phillips.
In documents filed in late July for the initial public offering, the company said it had more than 14,000 students at 35 colleges in 16 states.
In addition to Salomon Smith Barney, Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. and Piper Jaffray Inc. helped handle the sale.