Education M&A Deals in 2014 Top $8 Billion

Education M&A Deals in 2014 Top $8 Billion

BERKERY NOYES REPORT: Investment bank Berkery Noyes has issued its latest quarterly roundup of the mergers and acquisitions in education. The brief, which covers a broad swath of education deals across different industries (such as healthcare, enterprise training and professional publishing), counted 217 total transactions valued at $8.04 billion in the first three quarters of 2014. By comparison, the first three quarters in 2013 saw more deals (223) but a lower value ($5.98 billion). The median revenue multiple also rose 56 percent, from 1.6x to 2.5x.

The three biggest deals in 2014: Skillsoft (acquired by Charterhouse Capital Partners for $2.3 billion); Renaissance Learning (by Hellman & Friedman for $1.1 billion); iParadigms (by Insight Venture Partners for $752 million).

"It's been a very strong year--probably better than the prior year," Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes, tells EdSurge. In K-12, which "was more depressed than higher-ed and professional publishing during the recession, push from various legislation, testing consortia" are "driving changes in states and district budgets and forcing them to try new things."

"[2014] is going to be a banner year and we’re going to see quite a number of deals," Zandy exudes. And the reason that valuation is higher is that there is a really good crop of companies available."

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Editor's note: the piece has been updated with commentary from Mary Jo Zandy

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