The education group represents some of the most well respected and established businesses in the field, working for companies that deliver information and services to public, private, and for-profit schools. This includes e-learning, testing and assessment, and others throughout the K-12, higher-ed, and corporate and professional training markets.

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Latest Trends Reports

Full Year 2017 Education Industry Trends

2017 Key Highlights

  • Financial sponsors were responsible for nine of the top ten highest value transactions in 2017. The only strategic deal in the top ten list was Strayer Education's announced merger with Capella Education Company for $786 million.
  • The largest transaction in the Professional Training Services segment during the year was Blackstone Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's announced acquisition of Ascend Learning, which offers educational content and online tools for students, educational institutions and employers, with a particular focus on healthcare and other licensure-driven occupations, for $2 billion.
  • 2017 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2017 remained almost constant over 2016, at 390.
  • Total transaction value in 2017 more than tripled over 2016, from $5.07 billion to $16.79 billion. This followed a 73 percent decline from 2015 to 2016. Of note, there were 24 deals in 2017 with disclosed values above $100 million, as opposed to seven deals in 2016 and 28 deals in 2015.
  • The median revenue multiple from 2016 to 2017 stayed the same at 2.1x. The median EBITDA multiple increased from 8.7x in 2016 to 10.2x in 2017.
  • The segment with the largest rise in volume in 2017 over 2016 was K-12 Institutions with an 53 percent increase, from 30 to 46 transactions.
  • M&A Market Overview

    Berkery Noyes tracked 1,210 Education transactions between 2015 and 2017, of which 247 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $31.96 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 963 undisclosed transactions to be $8.83 billion, totaling $40.79 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past three years.

    Full Year
    2017
    Education

    Q3 2017 Education Industry Trends

    Q3 2017 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The most active acquirer through the 1st 3 Quarters of 2017, either directly or through an affiliated business, was Leeds Equity Partners with four transactions. Three of these deals occurred in Q3 2017.
  • Leeds Equity Partners during the quarter acquired the CRM and Application Management product lines from Hobsons; Courseval, a provider of online course evaluation software used by higher education institutions to assess faculty and course performance; and iLawVentures, which offers J.D., post-J.D. and international programs for law schools in the U.S.
  • Q3 2017 KEY TRENDS

  • Total transaction volume in Q3 2017 remained nearly constant over Q2 2017 at 102. This followed a 15 percent rise in Q1 2017.
  • Total transaction value in Q3 2017 declined 18 percent over Q2 2017, from $5.7 billion to $4.7 billion. However, aggregate value year-to-date more than tripled compared to the 1st 3 Quarters of 2016 and has already exceeded total value for all of 2016.
  • MULTIPLES & VALUE TRENDS

  • The median revenue multiple from 2016 through the 1st 3 Quarters of 2017 improved from 1.6x to 1.9x. The median EBITDA during the timeframe increased from 8.7x to 10.3x.
  • TOP TEN DEALS THROUGH Q3 2017

    The top ten deals by value have seen four new additions since our half year report, two of which reached the $1 billion threshold: Vista Equity Partners announced acquisition of The Advisory Board Company's education business, which includes Royall & Company, for $1.6 billion; and Thoma Bravo's acquisition of Frontline Education for an undisclosed sum.

    Q3
    2017
    Education

    1st Half 2017 Education Industry Trends

    1ST HALF 2017 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Each of the industry's five largest deals in 1st Half 2017 were completed by financial sponsors. These five transactions, with a combined value of $5.58 billion, represented 72 percent of aggregate value during the half year period.
  • Two of the industry's top three highest value acquisitions year-to-date occurred in the Professional Training Services segment. Along these lines were Blackstone and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's announced acquisition of Ascend Learning, which offers educational content and online tools for students, educational institutions and employers, with a particular focus on healthcare and other licensure-driven occupations, for $2 billion; and CVC Capital Partners with the announced acquisition of QA, an IT education and skills business, for $886 million.
  • 1ST HALF 2017 KEY TRENDS

  • Total transaction volume in 1st Half 2017 decreased by eight percent over 2nd Half 2016, from 195 to 179.
  • Total transaction value in 1st Half 2017 increased about fivefold over 2nd Half 2016, from $1.54 billion to $7.74 billion.
  • Of note, there was only one deal with a disclosed value above $100 million in 2nd Half 2016, compared to 11 such deals in 1st Half 2017. There were also two transactions that reached the $2 billion threshold in first half 2017, as opposed to none for all of 2016.
  • The median revenue multiple moved upward from 1.2x in 2nd Half 2016 to 1.4x in 1st Half 2017. The median EBITDA multiple declined from 11.0x in 2nd Half 2016 to 10.3x in 1st Half 2017.
  • M&A Market Overview

    Berkery Noyes tracked 997 Education transactions between 2015 and 1st Half 2017, of which 199 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $24.64 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project the values of 798 undisclosed transactions to be $6.73 billion, totaling $31.37 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past two and a half years.

    1st Half
    2017
    Education

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