NEW YORK (Reuters) - For-profit education company DeVry Inc (DV.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which has been selling its larger campuses to cut costs, has put its Decatur, Georgia, facility on the auction block, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
The 21-acre property, being handled by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, has not yet been sold, according to spokeswoman Joan Bates. Details about its value were not immediately available.
DeVry has been examining ways to cut expenses at its so-called Big Box facilities, including leasebacks, subletting and outright sales. Big Box campuses are usually between 80,000 and 100,000 square feet and have an array of student resources including labs and libraries.
"We are not thinking of this as a closing -- we think of this as rebalancing our capacity," said Bates. "It's a redistribution of real estate footage." After selling its larger facilities, DeVry has moved its classes into smaller, less expensive and more convenient locations, she said.
The Decatur sale is the sixth "real estate action" DeVry has taken for its 23 largest campuses, said Bates.
"We believe that DeVry is half-way through its real estate optimization plan and additional transactions could result in more cost savings in the future," wrote Lehman Brothers analyst Gary Bisbee, in a note to clients.
DeVry is the parent of DeVry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing and Ross University, among others. The schools offer associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs.
Shares of DeVry were up 19 cents at $47.72. The stock has slipped 8 percent so far this year on worries that the subprime lending crisis and cutbacks in government loan programs will make it difficult for students to fund their education.
(Reporting by Chelsea Emery, editing by Richard Chang and Gerald E. McCormick)
inDECATUR first reported on DeVry's move to the One West Court Square in Decatur last week.