2015 Key Highlights

  • The industry’s most active strategic acquirer in 2015, either directly or through an affiliated business, was Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA with four transactions.
  • Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA acquired Redilearning, an online learning company that serves the senior care sector; Academy Medical, a provider of continuing education content for various healthcare providers; YoBoHo, a digital media company that specializes in creating original content for children; and Alliant International University, a network of five California-based professional schools.
  • The combined Professional Training Services and Technology segments accounted for nearly one-third of the industry’s aggregate transaction volume. In addition, strategic acquirers represented 80 percent of deal flow in the Professional Training segments.

2015 Key Trends

  • Total transaction volume in 2015 increased by 26 percent over 2014, from 329 to 415.
  • Total transaction value in 2015 rose by 52 percent over 2014, from $11.68 billion to $17.75 billion.
  • The median revenue multiple decreased from 2.4x in 2014 to 2.0x in 2015. The median EBITDA multiple declined from 11.5x in 2014 to 9.6x in 2015.
  • The segment with the largest rise in volume in 2015 over 2015 was Higher-Ed Media and Tech with a 68 percent gain, from 47 to 79 transactions.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 1,044 Education transactions between 2013 and 2015, of which 235 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate value to be $28.97 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project values of 809 undisclosed transactions to be $9.74 billion, totaling $38.70 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 9.9x EBITDA.