1st Half 2010 Key Highlights

  • The largest transaction by value was the announced acquisition of SkillSoft plc by Bain Capital, Berkshire Partners LLC and Advent International Corp. for $1.06 billion.
  • The largest segment by transaction volume was Corporate & Professional, with 18 transactions, which represents 24% of total transaction volume in the industry.
  • Of the top ten transactions by value, four were financially sponsored: the aforementioned SkillSoft plc transaction, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan’s pending acquisition of Acorn Care & Education Ltd. for $245 million, JLL Partners’ pending acquisition of Ross Learning LLC for $232 million, and Thoma Bravo, LLC’s pending acquisition of PLATO Learning, Inc. for $137 million.

1st Half 2010 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 1st Half 2010 decreased by 14 percent over 2nd Half 2009 from 86 in 2009 to 74 in 2010.
  • Total transaction value in 1st Half 2010 decreased by 18 percent over 2nd Half 2009, from $2.71 billion in 2009 to $2.22 billion in 2010.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 509 transactions between 2008 and 1st Half 2010, of which 159 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $10.51 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project the value of the 342 undisclosed transactions to be $3.29 billion for a combined total transaction value of $13.80 billion within the industry over the past 30 months.


The largest transaction by value between 2008 and 1st Half 2010 was Bain Capital’s acquisiton of Bright Horizons Family Solutions for $1.33 billion.

The most active buyer the past 30 months was The Riverside Company with 9 transactions within the Education industry.