2013 Key Highlights

  • The most active acquirer in 2013 was Pearson plc with six transactions. The largest of these deals was Pearson plc’s acquisition of Grupo Multi Holding, an English language training company headquartered in Brazil, for $829 million.
  • Nine of the top ten highest value transactions in 2013 were based outside of the United States.
  • There were 65 financially sponsored transactions with an aggregate value of $5.51 billion, representing 22 percent of the total volume and 54 percent of the total value, respectively.

2013 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2013 increased by eight percent over 2012, from 274 to 295.
  • Total transaction value in 2013 rose by 27 percent over 2012, from $8.04 billion to $10.20 billion.
  • The median revenue multiple remained constant at 1.5x. The median EBITDA multiple declined from 13.5x in 2012 to 11.0x in 2013, which marked a return to the industry’s 2011 EBITDA valuation.
  • The segment with the largest increase in volume in 2013 over 2012 was Professional Training Technology with a 19 percent increase, from 31 to 37 transactions.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 849 Education transactions between 2011 and 2013, of which 255 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $21.77 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 594 undisclosed transactions to be $5.86 billion, totaling $27.63 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 1.6x revenue and 11.2x EBITDA.

Based on volume, the most active market segment that Berkery Noyes tracked between 2011 and 2013 was K-12 Media and Tech with 158 transactions.