1st Half 2018 Key Highlights

  • The largest Higher-Ed related transaction in 1st Half 2018 was staffing firm Adecco Group’s acquisition of General Assembly for $413 million. General Assembly, a coding bootcamp, offers full-time courses in subjects such as web development, user experience design, digital marketing, data science, and machine learning.
  • Four of the industry’s top five highest value deals year-to-date were completed by strategic acquirers.

1st Half 2018 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 1st Half 2018 increased by seven percent over 2nd Half 2017, from 202 to 216.
  • Total transaction value in 1st Half 2018 declined by 34 percent over 2nd Half 2017, from $9.37 billion to $6.17 billion. This followed a 21 percent rise in the preceding half year period.
  • The median revenue multiple fell from 2.7x in 2nd Half 2017 to 1.8x in 1st Half 2018, returning to its 1st Half 2017 level.
  • In the tech-based sectors, the segment with the largest rise in volume in 1st Half 2018 over 2nd Half 2017 was K-12 Media and Tech with a 32 percent gain, from 37 to 49 transactions.
  • Deal activity in the Professional Training Services segment increased 37 percent in second half 2017 and ten percent in 1st Half 2018, the latter of which marked the sector’s peak volume level over the past 30 months.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 999 Education transactions between 2016 and 1st Half 2018, of which 199 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $21.89 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project the values of 800 undisclosed transactions to be $6.25 billion, totaling $28.14 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past two and a half years.

Transactions from 1st Half 2016 to 1st Half 2018 with enterprise values in the $10-$20 million range had a median revenue multiple of 1.4x, whereas those above $20 million garnered a median revenue multiple of 2.4x.