2016 Key Highlights

  • Transaction volume in the K-12 Media and Tech segment overtook both the Professional Training Services and Higher Ed Media and Tech segments, becoming the industry’s most active sector in 2016.
  • The largest deal in 2016 was Apollo Education Group Inc.’s announced acquisition by a consortium of investors for $1.1 billion. This transaction, in which Apollo is being taken private, accounted for about one-fifth of the industry’s total value in 2016.

2016 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2016 decreased by 11 percent over 2015, from 426 to 378. This followed a 29 percent increase in from 2014 to 2015.
  • Strategic volume in 2016 moved downward by 15 percent over 2015, from 320 to 271. Private equity backed volume remained almost constant during this timeframe, from 106 to 107.
  • Total transaction value in 2016 fell by 70 percent over 2015, from $17.75 billion to $5.32 billion. This followed a 50 percent increase from 2014 to 2015. Of note, there were seven deals in 2016 with disclosed values above $100 million, as opposed to 19 such deals in 2015.
  • The median revenue multiple moved slightly from 1.9x in 2015 to 2.0x in 2016. The median EBITDA multiple saw a minor shift from 9.2x in 2015 to 8.7x in 2016.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 1,135 Education transactions between 2014 and 2016, of which 234 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $27.99 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 901 undisclosed transactions to be $6.86 billion, totaling $34.85 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past three years.

Disclosed median enterprise value multiples for all segments combined in this report during the last 36 months were 2.0x revenue and 9.2x EBITDA.