2019 Key Highlights

The largest deal in 2019 was Thoma Bravo’s announced acquisition of Instructure, which is known in particular for its Canvas learning management system (LMS), for $1.86 billion.

K-12 Media and Tech and Professional Training Services were tied as the industry’s most active market segments in 2019 with 99 transactions each.

Two of the industry’s top three highest value transactions in 2019 occurred in the Professional Training Services segment: Wendel Group’s acquisition of Crisis Prevention Institute, which offers behavior management and crisis prevention training programs, for $910 million; and 2U’s acquisition of Trilogy Education Services, a workforce accelerator that offers skills-based training programs in high-demand tech fields at universities and companies, for $750 million.

2019 Key Trends

Total transaction volume in 2019 increased by nine percent over 2018, from 441 to 479.

Total transaction value in 2019 declined by 21 percent over 2018, from $15.64 billion to $12.30 billion.

The median revenue multiple improved from 1.8x in 2018 to 2.6x in 2019.

The segment with the largest rise in volume in 2019 over 2018 was Higher-Ed Institutions, which rose 46 percent, from 41 to 60 transactions.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 1,312 Education transactions between 2017 and 2019, of which 255 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $34.87 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 1,057 undisclosed transactions to be $9.78 billion, totaling $44.65 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 2.1x revenue and 10.3x EBITDA.