PAN AM EDUCATION: Investment firm Pivotal Group has acquired a majority interest in Phoenix, AZ-based Pan Am Education, a provider of online programs around the world that currently focuses on English language training. (Press release from PEHub) This marks Pivotal Group's first foray into the education space (its portfolio consists of real estate and private equity holdings), although its president, Francis Najafi, has been involved in higher-ed as a member of Arizona State University's President's Club and a trustee of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Founded in 2010, Pan Am Education previously received funding from Tynwald Capital (founded by former VP Dan Quayle and his brother, Tucker), which has exited as a result of this transaction with Pivotal.
The majority of Pan Am's revenues currently come from overseas partners in countries like Brazil and Turkey. There's a healthy demand for English-language learning abroad, according to CEO Joe Merill, as he shared the following observation with us: "The demand for English language training is counter-cyclical. As economies around the world get tighter, people are looking for ways to get ahead. And [English training is] one of the cheapest ways to improve employability (outside of English-speaking countries)...and the most bang for the buck."