2014 Key Highlights

  • The largest transaction in 2014 was Charterhouse Capital Partners’ acquisition of SkillSoft Limited, a provider of cloud-based learning solutions for enterprises and governments, for $2.3 billion.
  • Providence Equity Partners was the industry’s most active acquirer in 2014 with 11 transactions. This consisted of VectorLearning, ParentLink, CardSmith, Premier Training International, PerceptIS, LLC, VitalSmarts, SIDEARM Sports Inc., Licensing Resource Group, AchieveGlobal, IPS Learning, LLC and MyEdu.
  • The combined tech-based segments accounted for 47 percent of the aggregate industry’s transaction volume. In addition, strategic acquirers represented 70 percent of deal flow in the tech-based segments.

2014 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2014 increased by nine percent over 2013, from 298 to 325.
  • Total transaction value in 2014 rose by 25 percent over 2013, from $9.12 billion to $11.40 billion.
  • The median revenue multiple increased from 1.5x in 2013 to 2.4x in 2014. The median EBITDA multiple remained nearly constant at 11.1x.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 898 Education transactions between 2012 and 2014, of which 217 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $22.13 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 681 undisclosed transactions to be $5.97 billion, totaling $28.10 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 2.0x revenue and 11.0x EBITDA.

Based on volume, the most active market segment that Berkery Noyes tracked between 2012 and 2014 was Professional Training Services with 178 transactions.