K-12 Dealmaking: Sylvan Learning Scooped Up by Unleashed Brands; Cognia Acquiring CenterPoint Education Solutions

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking

Unleashed Brands, an owner of child-focused franchised businesses, has bought tutoring provider Sylvan Learning, the companies announced.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition to buy Sylvan Learning, known for its franchised tutoring centers, is the sixth in the “youth enrichment” market for Unleashed Brands, the company said.

With the acquisition of Sylvan Learning, Unleashed Brands now owns seven franchises including college planning company Class 101Premier Martial Arts studios; STEAM-focused franchise Snapology; children’s play place The Little GymUrban Air Adventure Parks indoor play gyms; and esports league XP League.

Unleashed Brands is owned by California-based private equity firm Seidler Equity Partners, which purchased the company in February 2023.

Sylvan Learning was last bought for $81 million in 2021 by Franchise Group, Inc.

Adding Sylvan Learning to its portfolio further expands Unleashed’s “reach into the education segment,” Unleashed CEO Michael Browning said in a statement.

By joining Unleashed Brands, Sylvan Learning is seeking to leverage its resources and tech infrastructure to accelerate its growth, CEO John McAuliffe said in a statement.

“Unleashed Brands’ mission and goals for growth align perfectly with what we’re looking to achieve for Sylvan Learning and, based on its past success in growing complementary portfolio brands, I’m confident we’ll be able to do the same, reaching even more students and allowing them to achieve their goals for a brighter future,” McAuliffe said.

Cognia to acquire CenterPoint Education Solutions. Assessment and professional development provider Cognia has agreed to acquire fellow nonprofit CenterPoint Education Solutions, the organizations announced, as part of Cognia’s efforts to expand its assessment programs.

CenterPoint, based in Washington D.C., offers curriculum-based, interim assessments along with aligned professional learning in mathematics, English/language arts, and science.

By acquiring CenterPoint, Cognia will be able to expand its Cognia Assessment Solutions product from serving grades 3-8 to serving all K-12 students, while offering interim assessments in addition to Cognia’s existing summative assessments, the organization said.

“CenterPoint is one of the most highly regarded curriculum-based assessment providers,” Mark Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, said in a statement. “This acquisition allows Cognia to be competitive in an emerging market immediately—this will have a direct impact on our existing summative work.”

CenterPoint will continue its grant-funded work in developing K-12 science assessments, the organization said.

CenterPoint “has an important resource in curriculum-based assessments that are of great value to schools, districts, and states,” Sue Krause, CenterPoint interim CEO, said in a statement. “Cognia has a vast network of schools, districts, and states that are committed to improvement and want their assessments to reflect what students are learning.”

The acquisition is expected to close by June 30. 

Late last year, CenterPoint announced that Laura Slover, who had served as its CEO, was leaving to help assessment and research organization ETS on its efforts to replace the Carnegie Unit.

Follow EdWeek Market Brief on Twitter @EdMarketBrief or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Image by Getty.

See more: