Reuters: PowerSchool’s Private Equity Owner Is Exploring Sales Options

Mergers and Acquisitions

Reuters: PowerSchool’s Private Equity Owner Is Exploring Sales Options

Jan 22, 2018

POWERSCHOOL ON THE MOVE? PowerSchool has changed hands three times, and it may soon see a fourth. Sources told Reuters that Vista Equity Partners, the current owner of the student information system company, has hired an investment bank to “explor[e] a full range of options” for PowerSchool and PeopleAdmin, a human resource management software for the education and government industries.

Possibilities include “selling a minority or majority stake, a recapitalization, merging the two companies, an initial public offering or using the companies as a vehicle to buy another target,” according to Reuters. A deal could be worth between $2 billion to $3 billion, it adds.

Founded in 1997, PowerSchool was sold to Apple in 2001, and subsequently to Pearson in 2006. In 2015 it was purchased by Vista Equity Partners for $350 million. Under Vista, PowerSchool has spent more than $1 billion to acquire eight other education companies. Today, PowerSchool claims its tools serve 32 million students across more than 70 countries.

Most recently, PowerSchool announced a partnership with Microsoft that entails integrating Microsoft’s education productivity tools into PowerSchool’s student information system.

Buying, combining and selling assets at a higher valuation is a common strategy for private equity firms like Vista. In 2014 it sold Relias Learning, formed as a merger between two Vista-owned education companies—Silverchair Learning Systems and Essential Learning—to German media conglomerate, Bertelsmann for an estimated $450 million.

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