2009 Key Highlights

  • Transaction value in the Education industry was $4.69 billion, on 159 announced transactions. Financially sponsored transactions accounted for 47 percent of the value, or $2.31 billion, of closed deals.
  • The Postsecondary sector – including institutions, publishing, technology, and services businesses – saw the most volume, with 57 transactions.
  • Aggregate transaction value increased 3-fold during the second half of the year relative to the first half, even with deal volume down more than 23 percent.
  • The Postsecondary sector accounted for 8 out of 10 of the largest transactions, led by Datatel’s acquisition by Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity from fellow financial sponsor, Thoma Bravo. Six of the top 10 deals were Postsecondary institutions, led by Apollo Group’s acquisition of U.K.-based BPP Holdings.
  • Publicly listed Nobel Learning Communities was the most active acquirer, announcing the acquisition of four businesses between April and September.

2009 vs. 2008 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume decreased 31 percent last year, with 159 announced transactions in 2009, down from 232 deals in 2008.
  • Total transaction value was down even more precipitously, declining 50 percent year-over-year from $9.36 billion in 2008 to $4.69 billion in 2009.
  • The Postsecondary sector experienced only a slight decline in transaction volume in 2009, down 3 percent from 2008. The Postsecondary services market bucked prevailing M&A trends, more than doubling its transaction volume year-over-year.
  • The PreK-12 Sector saw the greatest decline in activity, down 42% from 87 transactions in 2008 to 45 deals in 2009; the K-12 Schools segment saw the greatest absolute volume decline with 17 announced transactions, down from 38 in 2008.

Market Overview 2006-2009

Berkery Noyes tracked 771 closed transactions in the global education industry between 2006 and 2009. Of this universe, 279 transactions had disclosed enterprise values, representing $49.71 billion in aggregate value. Based on the known enterprise values and using a logarithmic scale, we project the value of the 492 undisclosed transactions to be $7.02 billion, for a total aggregate enterprise value of education transactions of $56.7 billion from 2006 to 2009.