K-12 Dealmaking: Education Mergers, Acquisitions Rising in 2014, Report Shows

Managing Editor

The number of mergers and acquisitions in the education industry climbed during the first half of the year, as did the multi-billion dollar value of those transactions, according to a new report.

The biggest deal during that period was the acquisition of SkillSoft, an Irish company that provides cloud-based technology services to governments, businesses, and schools, by Charterhouse Capital Partners, for $2.3 billion, according to Berkery Noyes, the independent investment bank that published the report.

The second-biggest transaction involved a company that’s probably more familiar to Education Week readers—Renaissance Learning, bought by Hellman & Friedman, LLC, a private-equity firm, for $1.1 billion. See my colleague Michele Molnar’s story from earlier this year examining that deal, one of the biggest in the history of the U.S. ed-tech industry.

K-12_Dealmaking.gifOverall, the total number transactions in the first half of 2014 rose to 160, from 147 a year earlier, and the total value of the transactions jumped from about $4 billion to $5.9 billion.

While the vast majority of deals, about 70 percent of them, were “strategic” transactions, generally looking to expand in a new or familiar market, or diversify, the number of those transactions dropped from a year ago, from 118 to 108.

The number of financial transactions, on the other hand—often defined as deals by parties seeking returns—jumped from 29 to 52 during that same period.

Here’s Berkery Noyes’ list of major education industry transactions so far this year:



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