2011 Key Highlights

  • The largest announced transaction for 2011 was Hellman & Friedman LLC’s acquisition of SunGard Higher Education Inc. from SunGard Data Systems Inc. for $1.78 billion. This will result in a merger under a new holding company with Datatel Inc.
  • Overall, Pearson plc was the most active acquirer in 2011 with eight acquisitions: Global Education & Technology Group Limited, TQ Ltd., Connections Education LLC, Stark Verlag, Education Development International plc, SchoolNet, Inc., Smarthinking, Inc. and TutorVista.
  • The most active financial buyer in 2011 was Providence Equity Partners Inc. with six acquisitions: Istituto Marangoni, CerBibo Corporation, Edline LLC, PrepMe, Blackboard Inc. and TH(i)NQ Ed.

2011 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2011 increased by 10 percent over 2010, from 208 in 2010 to 229 this year.
  • Total transaction value in 2011 stayed almost constant compared to 2010, moving from $10.16 billion in 2010 to $10.01 billion this year.
  • The median revenue multiple remained nearly the same, moving from 1.9x in 2010 to 1.8x in 2011. Meanwhile, the median EBITDA multiple increased from 9.7x to 11.1x.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 656 transactions between 2009 and 2011, of which 215 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $19.45 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 441 undisclosed transactions to be $5.57 billion, totaling $25.02 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past three years.

Based on volume, the most active market segment that Berkery Noyes tracked between 2009 and 2011 was Corporate and Professional with 200 transactions.

Berkery Noyes determined that the nearly one-third of companies sold between 2009 and 2011 received transaction values between $3 million to $33 million.