McGraw-Hill Education on Road to Becoming Public Company?

Associate Editor

Speculation that McGraw-Hill Education will become a public company later this year appeared in the financial media last week.

The New York-based publisher may be planning an initial public offering as early as the fourth quarter of this year, according to a story from Reuters, which was later picked up by Fortune magazine.

McGraw-Hill Education, which is privately owned by Apollo Global Management, LLC, a private equity firm in New York, has a potential value of about $5 billiion, including debt, the article indicated.

A spokesman for McGraw-Hill declined to comment on the news report, as did a spokesman for Apollo Global Management. 

A similar article emerged about a year ago in The Deal Pipeline, under the headline, “IPO excitement rises around McGraw-Hill Education,” but an initial public offering has yet to materialize.

McGraw-Hill Education’s major competitors—Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and New York- and London-based Pearson—are already public companies. Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt made the move to become public in November 2013. That was the same year the McGraw-Hill Companies sold their education division to Apollo for $2.5 billion. 

When a company goes public, it sells shares of stock to investors and is required to file financial reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The reports and other filings provide a degree of transparency that is usually unavailable for a private company in the education industry.

Apollo Global, which owns McGraw-Hill Education, is not affiliated with Apollo Education Group, which owns the University of Phoenix and Carnegie Learning, pointed out the McGraw-Hill spokesman. Earlier this year, that company made headlines when it was announced that it entered the venture capital market.

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