Short seller who targeted Valeant takes aim at college owner

Fahmi Quadir. MUST CREDIT: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg.

Adtalem Global Education Inc. shares are slumping Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, after Safkhet Capital Management LLC said it’s betting against the for-profit education company.

It’s the latest call from the hedge fund, founded by short seller Fahmi Quadir, (of Bangladeshi origin) who made a prescient 2015 bet against the drugmaker formerly called Valeant Pharmaceuticals near its peak. The firm also made a winning call against shares of Wirecard AG, the German payment operator that crumbled in 2020 amid allegations of fraud.

“After our extensive research, including interviews with former executives and students, we believe the business model is simple: fast and loose admissions made possible by aggressive and sometimes deceptive tactics,” Safkhet Capital wrote in a post Tuesday on social media platform X, announcing the short report.

Adtalem Global, which is based in Illinois, didn’t respond to an email and phone calls requesting comment.

Shares of the company, the parent organization of schools including the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, fell as much as 20% Tuesday.

The stock had surged more than 50% in the year through Monday’s close, when the firm had a market capitalization of about $2.3 billion. It reached an all-time high above $70 per share in 2010.

The company has three buy ratings, no holds, no sells and an average 12-month price target of $65, implying a return of about 11% from Monday’s closing level, data compiled by Bloomberg show



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