• Each of the industry’s five largest deals in 1st Half 2017 were completed by financial sponsors. These five transactions, with a combined value of $5.58 billion, represented 72 percent of aggregate value during the half year period.
  • Two of the industry’s top three highest value acquisitions year-to-date occurred in the Professional Training Services segment. Along these lines were Blackstone and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s announced acquisition of Ascend Learning, which offers educational content and online tools for students, educational institutions and employers, with a particular focus on healthcare and other licensure-driven occupations, for $2 billion; and CVC Capital Partners with the announced acquisition of QA, an IT education and skills business, for $886 million.


  • Total transaction volume in 1st Half 2017 decreased by eight percent over 2nd Half 2016, from 195 to 179.
  • Total transaction value in 1st Half 2017 increased about fivefold over 2nd Half 2016, from $1.54 billion to $7.74 billion.
  • Of note, there was only one deal with a disclosed value above $100 million in 2nd Half 2016, compared to 11 such deals in 1st Half 2017. There were also two transactions that reached the $2 billion threshold in first half 2017, as opposed to none for all of 2016.
  • The median revenue multiple moved upward from 1.2x in 2nd Half 2016 to 1.4x in 1st Half 2017. The median EBITDA multiple declined from 11.0x in 2nd Half 2016 to 10.3x in 1st Half 2017.

M&A Market Overview

Berkery Noyes tracked 997 Education transactions between 2015 and 1st Half 2017, of which 199 disclosed financial terms, and calculated the aggregate transaction value to be $24.64 billion. Based on known transaction values, we project the values of 798 undisclosed transactions to be $6.73 billion, totaling $31.37 billion worth of transactions tracked over the past two and a half years.

Disclosed median enterprise value multiples for all segments combined in this report during the last 30 months were 1.6x revenue and 8.7x EBITDA.