The Big Asset in This Deal Was a College's Accreditation

A company gained legitimacy instantly when it bought a small Catholic institution

Two years ago, a group of Texas investors went looking for a college to buy. They planned to dismantle most of it and use what was left as a launching pad for a national for-profit college of education.

What the group, led by a Dallas merchant banker, Randy Best, found was Barat College, a struggling Catholic liberal-arts college in suburban Chicago.

Barat had merged in 2001 with DePaul