2010 Key Highlights

  • The largest transaction in 2010 was the acquisition of SkillSoft PLC by Bain Capital, Berkshire Partners LLC and Advent International Corporation for $1.06 billion.
  • Pearson plc was the most active education industry acquirer by volume, with nine acquisitions: CTI Education Group, The Administrative Assistants Ltd., America’s Choice, Wall Street Institute, Inc., Learning Systems Business from Sistema Educacional Brasileiro, Cogmed, The Learning Edge North America, Melorio plc and Assessment Training Institute.
  • The segment with the largest transaction volume for 2010 was postsecondary with 65 transactions.

2010 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume decreased by 11 percent from 189 in 2009 to 168 in 2010.
  • Total transaction value increased by 49 percent over 2009 from $3.96 billion in 2009 to $5.92 billion in 2010.
  • The segment with the largest increase in volume in Full Year 2010 over 2009 was post secondary technology with a 186 percent increase from 7 transactions in 2009 to 20 transactions in 2010.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 817 transactions between 2007 and 2010 of which 286 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $37.92 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 531 undisclosed transactions to be $2.80 billion totaling $40.72 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past four years.

The largest transaction tracked by Berkery Noyes between 2007 and 2010 was the acquisition of Cengage Learning ( formerly Thomson Learning) by Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners, for $7.75 billion.

Berkery Noyes determined that the nearly one-third of companies sold between 2007 and 2010 received transaction values between $3 million to $20 million.