9 education deals as PE hits the books in 2023

KKR, BC Partners and Dominus Capital are among the PE firms targeting the education sector.

With global demand for accessible education on the rise, private equity firms are increasing their engagement in the education segment, with a flurry of deals since the beginning of 2023 in Europe and the US.

We witnessed a slowdown in PE-backed edtech deals in 2022. However, there now seems to be a pickup in activity in the education technology segment with PE firms targeting online learning services and technical education companies.

Here are nine recent deals that caught the attention of PE Hub Europe and affiliate title PE Hub (in reverse chronological order):

1. BC Partners to buy Metropolitan College and AKMI IEK

BC Partners, in April, signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Metropolitan College and AKMI IEK, providers of post-secondary education in Greece.

IEK AKMI provides education and training in over 100 specialties across 14 fields.

2. Coursedog picks up $90m from JMI

New York City-based Coursedog, an academic operations platform for higher education, secured $90 million from JMI Equity in March.

Coursedog was founded in 2018 by Columbia University students Justin Wenig and Nicholas Diao.

3. Regent to buy Pearson Online Learning Services

Regent announced that it will buy Pearson Online Learning Services (POLS) from Pearson in March.

POLS is Pearson’s online programme management business. POLS’ gross assets stood at £113 million ($138 million; €129 million) and net assets at £78 million as of 31 December 2022.

4. New Heritage-backed Carnegie acquires Clarus Corporation

In March, Carnegie, which is backed by New Heritage Capital, acquired Clarus Corporation, a provider of community college marketing.

Based in Westford, Massachusetts, Carnegie is a higher education enrolment marketing and strategy firm.

5. KKR-backed WebMD Health buys Grupo SANED

WebMD Health, owned by KKR and Temasek-backed Internet Brands Company, acquired Grupo SANED, a provider of scientific communication and medical education services, in March.

Grupo SANED is based in Madrid, Spain.

6. Excolere acquires EPS School Specialty

Excolere Equity Partners acquired Nashua, New Hampshire-based EPS School Specialty, a developer of curriculum products and services that aim to enhance literacy and maths skills for K-12 grade level students, in March.

As part of the acquisition, Excolere appointed Steven Guttentag as CEO of EPS. He is the former CEO of Reading Plus.

7. PE-backed 95 Percent Group acquires Tools 4 Reading

In February, 95 Percent Group, a portfolio company of Leeds Equity Partners, acquired Oklahoma City-based Tools 4 Reading, a provider of literacy instruction.

Based in Lincolnshire, Illinois, 95 Percent Group is an education company that aims to help educators identify and address the needs of all readers.

8. Dominus-backed Uptime brings in CNet Training

Uptime Institute, backed by Dominus Capital, completed the acquisition of Academia Group and its global subsidiaries, including CNet Training, in February.

Based in Bury St Edmunds in England, CNet Training is a technical education company.

9. DW Healthcare Partners invests in Med Learning Group

Toronto-based private equity firm DW Healthcare Partners, in January, made an investment in Med Learning Group, a New York City-based continuing medical education platform.

DW Healthcare Partners targets the healthcare industry. The firm manages more than $1.2 billion in aggregate capital commitments.

PE Hub Europe expects to see more deals in the education segment.