Equistone-backed Wealth at Work Announces Investment from Aquiline Capital Partners

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01 Jun 2021

Wealth at Work Group Limited (“Wealth at Work”), a UK-based specialist provider of workplace financial education, guidance and regulated financial advice for individuals, is pleased to announce that it has agreed an investment from Aquiline Capital Partners (“Aquiline”), a private investment firm based in New York and London with $6.4 billion in assets under management.

Wealth at Work’s management team, which continues to be led by CEO, David Cassidy, will retain a significant equity stake. Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) will retain a minority stake in the company alongside Aquiline and management.

Wealth at Work, which employs approximately 250 people, works with over 450 private and public sector employers including Marks & Spencer, BT, Experian and the NHS, delivering financial wellbeing programmes and retirement services.

Since its 2015 management buyout backed by Equistone , Wealth at Work has continued to achieve rapid growth to meet the significant demand for its services, which are now offered to over a million employees across the organisations with which it partners. The technology-driven service is uniquely tailored to each client’s requirements through a complete suite of services ranging from seminars and digital tools such as the Financial Healthcheck through to virtual or telephone guidance services and regulated financial advice.

David Cassidy, Chief Executive Officer of Wealth at Work, said: “This investment will allow us to continue to grow and meet the rapidly increasing demand for our services which are used by a number of the largest companies and organisations in the UK. I very much look forward to working with Aquiline whose deep understanding of the UK and US retirement market and track record of supporting technology-driven growth will help us further develop our offering to clients, deliver innovation and set new standards of best practice. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Equistone for the support they have provided so far, and we look forward to continuing our work with them as we take our business to the next chapter.”

Jeff Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aquiline, said: “Individuals are facing increasingly complex and important financial decisions as they plan for retirement, which Wealth at Work helps them navigate. We believe that David and his team have built a platform that can deliver high-quality, personalised financial guidance and advice to a growing number of workplace savers across the UK in a highly scalable and technology-enabled manner. We are excited about partnering with them in the next phase of their journey.”

Dominic Geer, Senior Partner at Equistone, said: “We are delighted that, after five years of working closely with David and his team at Wealth at Work, the company is in a strong position to explore exciting new opportunities. Wealth at Work has grown significantly since 2015, and through investment in organic and acquisitive growth has emerged as a clear market leader. Equistone has a successful track record of investing in financial services businesses in the UK and internationally and we look forward to remaining involved in this next phase of the company’s development.”

Closing of the investment is subject to the parties obtaining relevant regulatory approval.

Evercore provided corporate finance advice and Herbert Smith Freehills provided legal advice to Aquiline. Due diligence was performed by Oliver Wyman (commercial), Deloitte (financial and tax), West Monroe (technology) and Howden (insurance).

Deloitte’s Manchester and London-based Financial Services teams provided corporate finance advice and Travers Smith provided legal advice to Wealth at Work in relation to the transaction.

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Categories: News


KKR Invests in EQuest


HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam–(BUSINESS WIRE)– EQuest Education Group (“EQuest” or “the Company”), a leading educational services provider in Vietnam, and KKR today announced that KKR has invested in EQuest. The investment will be used to support EQuest’s expansion and advance its mission to provide students in Vietnam with affordable access to world-class education.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210531005318/en/

EQuest operates a diversified portfolio across the educational sector in Vietnam, focusing on four core segments including K-12 bilingual schools, tertiary and vocational institutions, English enrichment courses, and digital learning solutions. Its K-12 portfolio, which serves more than 9,000 students in its 8 campuses, has gained a strong reputation in Vietnam where there is a rapidly growing demand for an affordable bilingual curriculum with strong efficacy. As a group, EQuest has more than 110,000 students enrolled across its segments each year, positioning the Company as one of the largest private educational services providers in Vietnam.

KKR is a leading global investment firm with US$367 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2021. The investment is made through the KKR Global Impact Fund (“KKR Global Impact” or “the Fund”), and marks the Fund’s fourth investment globally in the educational and workforce development space as part of the Fund’s thematic focus on Lifelong Learning. The Fund is focused on generating risk-adjusted returns by investing in companies that contribute toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”). EQuest’s business directly contributes towards SDG 4 (Quality Education) by providing accessible, affordable and high-quality education to Vietnam’s emerging middle-class population.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, co-founder and CEO of EQuest, said: “Access to high-quality education and intensive English-language training is crucial for Vietnamese students to achieve their full potential. By making the access affordable at a disruptive cost, EQuest is committed to delivering world-class education and bringing accredited, world-class curriculum to more Vietnamese students to improve their competitiveness in the global arena. With the support of KKR and its sector expertise, we are confident we will be able to advance our mission to provide quality learning for Vietnam’s millions of students and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce that will support the country’s long-term growth aspirations.”

Vietnam has a growing middle-class population with rapidly increasing demand for better education. With continued trends of globalization, English has become an essential employability skill, with proficiency in the language a high priority area for Vietnam’s national education goals. The Vietnamese government has also earmarked digital learning solutions as a strong area of focus as it seeks to further improve access to education.

Chee-Wei Wong, Head of KKR Global Impact for Asia, said: “KKR Global Impact’s thematic around Lifelong Learning focuses on closing the skills gap and creating more equitable access to quality education. EQuest advances these goals: we believe lifelong learning starts at an early age and EQuest is supporting the development of the next generation through its high-quality affordable education programs with strong outcomes. KKR aims to leverage our operational experience, global network and education expertise to strengthen EQuest’s market-leading position, further build on its edtech solutions, and implement industry best practices. We look forward to working together with EQuest’s management team to advance the company’s mission and expand the reach of its impact across Vietnam.”

Ashish Shastry, Co-Head of Asia Private Equity and Head of Southeast Asia at KKR, said: “Investing in Vietnam and supporting the growth of the country’s businesses and industries is a key part of KKR’s strategy in Asia. As Vietnam continues to elevate on the world’s economic stage, access to affordable, high-quality education solutions plays an important role in meeting the nation’s objectives. We are excited to invest in EQuest and to support aspiring Vietnamese entrepreneurs like Toan – as well as EQuest’s talented team – to help realize their vision for closing the education gap in the country.”

In addition to KKR’s investment, EQuest and KKR announce that Annabelle Vultee, the former China Chief Operating Officer of EF Education First, has joined EQuest’s board of directors. Ms. Vultee brings to EQuest extensive experience in the education sector across fast-growing markets such as China and the United States as well as a passion for driving operational excellence and leveraging technology to deliver a better learning experience.

KKR Global Impact’s portfolio in Asia includes Barghest Building Performance, a Singapore-based provider of energy-saving solutions for commercial and industrial buildings; Ramky Enviro Engineers, a leading provider of environment management services in India; GreenCollar, an environmental markets project developer and investor across the carbon, water quality, bio-diversity and plastics market in Australia; and Five-Star Business Finance, a leading Indian lender to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. Through its private equity business, KKR has also invested in leading Vietnamese businesses including Vinhomes, the country’s largest real estate developer, and Masan MEATLife (formerly known as Masan Nutri-Science), an animal feed producer.

About EQuest

EQuest, formed through a merger in 2013 between EQuest Academy (founded in 2003) and other local education companies, is one of the largest private educational institutions in Vietnam with more than 110,000 students enrolled each year in 18 member units, including universities, colleges, vocational schools, K-12 schools, foreign language centers and education technology platforms. Since then, EQuest has grown to become a comprehensive education ecosystem, and is always committed to its mission to deliver the best educational experience to students and train them ready for the 4.0 industrial age; to provide a world-class education at an affordable cost; to turn Vietnam into a bilingual country; and to send future leaders to the top schools worldwide. For additional information about EQuest, please visit www.equest.vn.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

EQuest Education Group
Truong Hoang Nam
+84 336 842 102

KKR Asia Pacific
Anita Davis
+852 3602 7335

Zita Setiawan

KKR Americas
Cara Major or Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
+1 212-750-8300

Source: KKR

Categories: News


Ornikar Raises €100m ($120m) in Series C Funding Led by KKR


April 22, 2021

Investment accelerates Ornikar’s mission to become a global leader in road safety

  • Ornikar focuses on driving tech-enabled innovations that re-imagine how drivers are trained and insured
  • KKR makes significant investment in Ornikar’s funding round which includes participation by existing investors Idinvest, BPI via its fund Large Venture, Elaia, Brighteye, and H14
  • €100 million ($120 million) Series C round brings Ornikar’s total financing raised to €146 million ($175 million)
  • Following its successful expansion into Spain and the launch of its auto insurance offering Ornikar Assurance, Ornikar will use the capital to accelerate its international development under the Onroad brand, develop new learning resources and expand its range of driver services


PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ornikar, a specialist in driver training and road awareness since 2013, today announced a €100 million ($120 million) round of Series C funding led by global investment firm KKR, which is making the investment primarily through its Next Generation Technology Growth Fund. Existing investors Idinvest, BPI, Elaia, Brighteye and H14 also contributed to Ornikar’s latest fundraise which will enable the company to accelerate its mission of becoming a global leader in road safety.

In less than a decade, Ornikar has revolutionised the traditional driving school model to become the go-to online driver education platform and training marketplace in France, with a fast-growing presence in Spain. Ornikar’s platform – which offers comprehensive online driver education courses and matches students with independent driving instructors – has helped over 1.5 million people learn the rules of the road.

In 2020, the company expanded into France’s €17 billion ($20 billion) car insurance market with the launch of Ornikar Assurance, a product designed for the digital world with a highly intuitive user experience and services tailored to each individual driver’s needs.

Benjamin Gaignault, co-founder and CEO of Ornikar, said: “We are very proud to have KKR join our established investors to support our goal of becoming a global leader in road safety. We have proven the effectiveness, sustainability and flexibility of the model we created, including showing that Ornikar can be replicated outside France. Our ambitions are far-reaching and we aim to drive innovations that re-imagine how drivers are trained and insured. KKR is a first-rate investor and will be a huge asset in accelerating our international rollout for training, car insurance, and other driver services.”

The financing round comes after a successful year for Ornikar, which became a French Tech 120 member in 2020. The company, led by Benjamin Gaignault and Flavien Le Rendu, added 420,000 new users last year, growing as much as 30% a month during the global pandemic which helped to accelerate the adoption of online services.

Patrick Devine, Director at KKR and member of the Next Generation Technology Growth investment team, said: “Ornikar has done a tremendous job creating a great experience for students and driving instructors through engaging online education courses and a well-designed marketplace. We are thrilled to invest behind Benjamin, Flavien, and their talented team as they expand internationally and accelerate their insurance offering following the successful launches of Onroad in Spain and Ornikar Assurance.”

KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth strategy is dedicated to growth equity investment opportunities in the technology sector. Ornikar is KKR’s third growth investment in France’s technology startup ecosystem, following its investments in Ivalua and Fotolia. This marks KKR’s sixth investment in France over the last twelve months.

Benoist Grossmann from Idinvest Partners and Yassine Soual from Bpifrance Large Venture added: “We have always been convinced of the relevance of the Ornikar model to meet the challenges of road safety education. We are pleased to continue our support in this new phase, which not only validates the team’s goals over the past few years, but also provides the company with the means to become an international reference player in road safety by way of education and insurance.”

Lauriane Requena, who leads KKR’s Next Generation Technology Growth investing strategy in France, concluded: “We are pleased to make our latest investment in the French tech ecosystem which benefits from a unique mix of skilled engineers, a strong network of successful entrepreneurs, and a supportive public policy.”

Today, Ornikar’s platform prepares over 35% of drivers for the French Code de la Route driving tests. Ornikar plans to continue its development both in France and other countries under the Onroad brand, develop new learning resources and tools for driving instructors, and expand its range of driver services.

About Ornikar

A specialist in driver training and road awareness since 2013, Ornikar’s ambition is to become a global leader in road safety thanks to its global approach combining educational training and car insurance. In less than a decade, the company run by Benjamin Gaignault and Flavien Le Rendu has revolutionised the traditional driving school model to become the go-to online driver education platform and training marketplace in France, with more than 1.5 million clients. With a fast-growing presence in the Spanish market, Ornikar plans to continue its international development under the Onroad brand. Ornikar has been a French Tech 120 member since 2020.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.


Press contact for Ornikar: Image 7
Roxane Planas rplanas@image7.Fr ; Florence Coupry fcoupry@image7.Fr

Press contact for KKR: Milltown Partners

Simon Thiel sthiel@milltownpartners.com +44 79 72 630 913

Categories: News


Consortium around EMERAM and Gimv to support German digital learning platform sofatutor in the next growth phase

Topic: Investment

  • sofatutor is the most comprehensive digital education platform for schoolchildren in the German-speaking countries
  • Number of users has grown during a highly successful 2020 to more than 1 million schoolchildren
  • Additional digital education offerings and integration within in-school activity to be key drivers of future growth

EMERAM Capital Partners, one of the leading investment companies in the German-speaking region with a focus on medium-sized companies, is heading an investor consortium together with the investment company Gimv, amongst others, to lead digital company sofatutor into the next growth phase. The consortium will thus take on from the previous share owners. sofatutor is regarded as one of Germany’s leading digital education platforms for years one to twelve (K-12). Through additional innovative offerings, sofatutor plans to meet the demand for online learning tools and improve access to first-class education. In this way, the strong growth of the past years is to be continued into the future.

Founded in 2008, the company currently has more than one million users. Moreover, sofatutor is used by more than 25 percent of all teachers across Germany and has been introduced in the Federal States of Saxony and Bremen. sofatutor therefore sees itself positioned as the most comprehensive provider for digital learning tools in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, a market with a total of more than 11 million schoolchildren.

The sofatutor product and service portfolio covers a wide range of more than 11,000 videos, as well as exercises and worksheets for 14 different school subjects. Students can access material conveniently via the web-based platform or via sofatutor app and can chat about homework tasks in real-time with qualified teachers.

Dr. Christian Näther, founding partner of EMERAM, says: “High-quality education has an important societal role in any country. We are therefore pleased to support sofatutor in extending its educational offering still further. Sofatutor is already seeing huge demand for its digital learning tools, which has been boosted still further by home-schooling and the pandemic. We would like to continue the success story.” Matthias Obermeyr, Partner at EMERAM, adds: “Thanks to its comprehensive, digital offering, its strong innovation and attractive value proposition, sofatutor already occupies a strong market position. Extending the digital product range and expanding digital learning models offers significant further growth potential.”

Stephan Bayer, CEO of sofatutor and the company’s founder, explains: “With more than one million users and the largest network of teachers integrating sofatutor’s content into their lessons, sofatutor has long been the leading provider of digital learning applications. With the new consortium of investors, we again have a strong group of investors at our side who will accompany and support the company with their expertise in the next growth phase. Innovative digital learning tools will continue to be our DNA into the future. We want to support schools, teachers and schoolchildren not only after school but also by offering digital learning content for school daytime activity.”

Dr. Sven Oleownik, Partner and Head of Germany at European investment company specialized in growth companies, Gimv, comments: “With its investment in sofatutor, Gimv confirms its commitment to investing in future-oriented companies along the fundamental trends of digitalization, sustainability and convenience, and is supporting together with EMERAM an excellently led company which, with its digital offering, is perfectly addressing the United Nations goals with respect to high quality education and digital innovation.”  Koen Bouckaert, Managing Partner and Head Consumer at Gimv, adds: “We are therefore particularly pleased to allocate part of our recently issued sustainable bond towards sofatutor’s growth story, thus making a significant contribution to both the company and society at large.”

The investor consortium around EMERAM and Gimv was advised in the transaction by IEG Investment Banking Group (M&A), GLNS and McDermott (Legal), PwC (Financial, Tax and Commercial) and Xperify (Tech/Marketing).

The transaction is subject to the usual conditions, including approval by the competition authorities. Further financial details are not to be disclosed.

Read the full press release:


Karel Oomsstraat 37, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Categories: News


Andera Partners enters exclusivity agreement with IK Investment Partners to sell its majority stake in Skill & You


The investment, conducted by IK Investment Partners alongside the management team led by Eric Petco and Sonia Levy-Odier, will open a new development cycle in line with the strong ambitions of the Group.

Paris, 4 February, 2021 – Andera Partners today announces that it has formed an exclusive agreement with IK Investment Partners to sell its majority stake in Skill & You to the IK IX Fund. Having generated nearly €115m of sales in 2020, Skill & You is a vocational e-learning provider with 120,000 students and 850 employees and has established itself as a market leader in France and Spain. The Group’s unrivalled portfolio of 220 courses largely lead to state diplomas and cover a wide range of professional fields (healthcare, childcare, animal health, IT & digital, accounting and administration, public service, and construction, among others). As a member of the EdTech France association, Skill & You also plays a major role in fostering the development of e-learning in France.

Since the original investment led by Andera MidCap in July 2018, Eric Petco and Sonia Levy-Odier have successfully carried out the change of scale of the Group, with sales growth reaching almost +25% per annum. Skill & You has continuously expanded its portfolio across new verticals (including accounting & management, naturopathy, bakery and fashion) and has consistently invested in the improvement of both pedagogical tools and academic support. An e-learning partnership has also been signed with French institutions to train jobseekers looking for further qualifications or a career change. The Group has also begun its international expansion by acquiring the Spanish market leader Ilerna Online in 2018, which has since experienced very strong growth.

As a new chapter unfolds for the Group, management intends to accelerate its development with the support of IK Investment Partners, in particular through:
– Strengthening its leadership position in a fast-growing market benefiting from promising trends, by continuing to invest in the Group’s training offering and its digital platform;
– Reinforcing Skill & You’s presence in B2G (public sector) and B2B; and
– Accelerating the development of the Group internationally by leveraging its strong expertise in France and Spain.

The transaction is expected to close in March 2021.

Eric Petco and Sonia Levy-Odier, Managers of Skill & You said: “Over the last three years, Skill & You has considerably overachieved its business plan objectives by taking advantage of the sound dynamics of the e-learning market while investing in its pedagogical content, its international development and by signing strategic partnerships, especially with French Institutions. We are delighted with the change of scale that has been achieved with the support of the Andera MidCap teams. We also look forward to starting a new collaboration with IK Investment Partners, which we believe is the ideal partner to further accelerate our development in France and Europe.”

Laurent Tourtois and Sylvain Charignon, Partners of Andera Partners, added: “We are very proud to have been able to support Eric and Sonia in the change of scale of the Group. Skill & You has benefited from the growing digitalisation of vocational training while managing to combine the diversification of its training portfolio with external growth and international development to rise as the European leader in this fast-growing market.Congratulations! We are grateful to all of Skill and You’s teams, who have been entirely committed to this project all along!” 

Rémi Buttiaux, Managing Partner at IK Investment Partners and advisor to the IK IX Fund said: “Skill & You has experienced impressive growth over the recent years due to the quality and the breadth of its offering and has built a clear leadership position in France and Spain. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Skill & You and its management team in their ambitious growth strategy.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Investment Partners

James McFarlane
Phone: +44 (0) 7584 142 665

Andera Partners

Nicolas Delsert
Communication & PR
+33 1 85 73 52 88

Marie-Charlotte Potet
Bien Commun Advisory
+33 6 47 97 39 46

About IK Investment Partners

IK Investment Partners (“IK”) is a Pan-European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €13 billion of capital and invested in over 140 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit www.ikinvest.com

About Andera Partners

Created in 2001, Andera Partners (formerly Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners) is a major player in private company investments in France and internationally. Its teams manage nearly €2.5 billion in investments in life sciences (Andera Life Sciences), growth and buyout capital (Andera MidCap, Andera Expansion and Andera Croissance) and sponsorless transactions (Andera Acto).

Andera Partners’ mission is to work alongside companies and their managers to support them in achieving strong and sustainable growth. The quality of performance offered to our investors relies on a strong partnership between the entrepreneurs in our portfolio companies and our teams, based on shared values. Performance through collective engagement, the “Power of And”, constitutes Andera Partners’ DNA.

Based in Paris, Andera Partners is wholly owned by its teams, which count 74 professionals, of which nearly 50 investment professionals. It is structured as a partnership and managed by a board of 10 partners. Responsible and committed, the management company regularly forms partnerships with non-profit sector entities and takes concrete action in the fight against global warming. Andera Partners has been certified carbon neutral since 2018.

Categories: News


The Onex Group to Invest in K-12 Industry Leader Weld North Education


Furthers Weld North Education’s Mission to Deliver Innovative and Comprehensive Digital-firstCurriculum Solutions and Servicesto Teachers and Students Across the U.S.
New York, NY, Toronto, ON, February 1, 2021 – Weld North Education (“WNE”) and Onex Corporation (“Onex”)(TSX: ONEX) today announced that Onex Partners V, Onex’ $7.2 billion fund, and certain co-investors, including Onex (the “Onex Group”), have agreed to make a significant investment in WNE, in partnership with the management team and the company’s existing investor, Silver Lake.

WNE is the leading K-12 digital curriculum company in the U.S., focused on unlocking the power of innovative technologies for learning, serving ten million students and seven thousand school districts with a comprehensive array of digital first curriculum solutions and services.
Jonathan Grayer, Chairman and CEO of Weld North Education stated,“Since we launched WeldNorth Education in 2010,our unwavering commitment remains the same: to deliver products, capabilities and solutions that transform how teachers teach and how students learn by enablingthe power of data-driven instruction. As the leader in K-12 digital curriculum, we are proud ofourwork this past year in supporting schools, teachersand students during this unprecedented period of upheaval caused by the pandemic and weare privileged to be valued partners with administrators, teachers and students in harnessing technology to enhance the learning experienceand improve outcomes, both today and tomorrow.”

“We are delighted to partner with Jonathan, the team at Weld North Education and Silver Lake to invest in the future of transforming education. We have hands-on knowledge of the benefits of increased technology usage in K-12 education and are excited about Weld North Education’s commitment to improving student outcomes through a digital-first learning experience that gives teachers the tools they need,” said Laurence Goldberg, an Onex Managing Director.
“We are excited to welcome the Onex team as our new partners at Weld North Education. Onex shares our passion for education technology and has an impressive track record investing behind industries undergoing transformation. Since the time we first invested three years ago, we have never been more enthusiastic about Weld North Education’s future and we look forward to working closely with Onex and Jonathan for years to come,” said Silver Lake Managing Director Jonathan Durham.

The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the first quarter subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Further terms of the investment are not being disclosed at this time.
About Weld North Education
Weld North Education is a leading digital education technology company focused on developing digital curriculum and tools for PreK–12 students. The Company is built around two underlying businesses, Edgenuity and Imagine Learning. Edgenuity is a leading digital courseware provider focused on providing online curricula and intervention solutions. Imagine Learning is a leading digital supplemental solutions provider focused on addressing language, literacy and math. Read more about Weld North Education at www.weldnorthed.com.

About Onex
Founded in 1984, Onex invests and manages capital on behalf of its shareholders, institutional investors and high net worth clients from around the world. Onex’ platforms include: Onex Partners, private equity funds focused on larger opportunities in North America and Europe; ONCAP, private equity funds focused on middle market and smaller opportunities in North America; Onex Credit, which manages primarily non-investment grade debt through collateralized loan obligations, senior loan strategies and other private credit strategies; and Gluskin Sheff’s wealth management services including its actively managed public equity and public credit funds. In total, as of September 30, 2020, Onex has approximately $36.6 billion of assets under management, of which approximately $6.7 billion is its own shareholder capital. With offices in Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London, Onex and its experienced management teams are collectively the largest investors across Onex’ platforms.
The Onex Partners and ONCAP businesses have assets of $36 billion, generate annual revenues of $22 billion and employ approximately 149,000 people worldwide. Onex shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the stock symbol ONEX. For more information on Onex, visit its website at www.onex.com. Onex’ security filings can also be accessed at www.sedar.com.

About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a global technology investment firm, with approximately $75 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $180 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 400,000 people globally. For more information about Silver Lake and its portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.

Weld North Education
Elliot Sloane
ThroughCo Communications
Jill Homenuk
Managing Director – Shareholder Relations and Communications
Silver Lake
Jennifer Stroud
Edelman Jennifer.Stroud@Edelman.com

Categories: News


Bain Capital Contributes $100,000 to UP Education Network’s Campaign to Solve Digital Inequity


BOSTON, MA, January 14, 2021– UP Education Network, a nonprofit organization that partners with school districts, parents and staff to significantly improve formerly struggling Massachusetts schools, today announced that Bain Capital has contributed $100,000 to strengthen digital equity for all UP scholars. The contribution will provide UP Education Network’s students across five schools with devices, adequate internet access, and more IT support, ensuring every student successfully learns from home for what could be the remainder of the school year.

The transition to remote learning during the pandemic highlighted the digital inequity among students, especially those in underserved communities. According to a study by Pew Research Center, 59% of parents from economically disadvantaged communities who had children in schools that were remote at the time said their children would likely face at least one of three digital obstacles, including having to do schoolwork on a cellphone, no reliable internet connection at home, and no access to a computer at home. UP Education Network has been working to address digital inequity in the Boston-area community, developing new and unique systems and partnering with companies to provide their students, teachers, and families with what they need for effective remote learning.

“This generous donation from Bain Capital will benefit so many of our students, teachers, and families,” said Veronica Conforme, CEO of UP Education Network. “While the unprecedented learning challenges brought on by the pandemic remain significant, this contribution will allow us to move forward and focus on our students’ education, knowing they have the necessary infrastructure needed to handle the reality of remote learning.”

“Digital inequity is a prevalent and significant issue that will persist beyond the pandemic, and we are proud to support UP Education Network in their efforts to keep students learning,” said Greg Shell, a Managing Director of Bain Capital and member of the UP Board of Trustees. “With up to 20% of UP’s scholars lacking adequate internet to support remote learning, this is a long-standing problem of inequity highlighted by the pandemic. These issues have and will continue to impact our communities without the proper support.”

Currently, UP’s Boston schools are reassessing plans to reopen utilizing a hybrid learning model, starting with high needs students, then phasing in the rest of their K-8th grade students over the coming weeks where families opt in, and if the city’s COVID-19 positivity rate falls below 4%. They will continue to provide a remote learning option likely through the end of the school year.

About Bain Capital
Bain Capital, LP is one of the world’s leading private multi-asset investment firms that creates lasting impact for our investors, teams, businesses, and the communities in which we live. Since our founding in 1984, we’ve applied our insight and experience to organically expand into numerous asset classes including private equity, credit, public equity, venture capital, real estate and other strategic areas of focus. The firm has offices on four continents, more than 1,200 employees and approximately $105 billion in assets under management. To learn more, visit www.baincapital.com or follow Bain Capital on Twitter.

About UP Education Network
UP Education Network is a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts that partners with school districts, families, and staff to improve formerly struggling district schools into exceptional learning environments where scholars cultivate sharp minds, share their kind hearts, and explore their path and potential. UP serves more than 2,500 scholars across five schools, two in Lawrence, MA and three in Boston, MA. To learn more about UP, visit our website: www.upeducationnetwork.org, or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Categories: News


FUTUREWHIZ, parent company of SQULA and WRTS, acquired by NPM Capital

NPM Capital

  • Acquisition of Futurewhiz by investment firm NPM Capital
  • Transaction further enables Futurewhiz to realize growth strategy at home and abroad
  • Acquisition has no impact on core activities of existing online platforms

Amsterdam, 24. December 2020 – Futurewhiz, also trading as Squla and WRTS, today announces its acquisition by investment firm NPM Capital. NPM Capital, a Dutch investor, will buy the majority of shares of Futurewhiz from international investment firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. The acquisition will have no impact on the core activities of Futurewhiz’ online learning platforms for children between 3 and 18 years of age.  No further details have been given about the value of this transaction.

Serge Bueters, CEO of Futurewhiz: “We are very happy to announce the acquisition of Futurewhiz by NPM Capital. We believe that with NPM Capital as a partner, we will be able to realize our growth ambitions and our mission to help as much children as possible to make progress in a fun and engaging way through our popular platforms Squla, WRTS and Scoyo. It is more important than ever that primary and secondary school students are provided with additional support in their education. With the active support of NPM Capital, we will be able to accelerate our (inter)national goals and to give extra support to millions of children in primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Poland. We are also very thankful for the support Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has given us. Together with the management, LLCP has made significant investments in the growth of our two platforms and has prepared Futurewhiz for the next phase”.

“With Futurewhiz we are able to add strong activities and well-positioned brands to our portfolio of participations,” states Bart Coopmans, Managing Director at NPM Capital. “Online learning is seamlessly aligned with our strategic investment themes and the social trends we have already observed for several years now. We believe we are able to support talented and skilled organizations and market propositions with growth capital and pave the way for a next phase in their development towards long-term growth and value creation. As mother company of Squla, Scoyo and WRTS, Futurewhiz has a strong track-record and market position. We are really looking forward to fully make use of this growth potential together with Futurewhiz”.

About Futurewhiz
Futurewhiz employs 70 people, is located in Amsterdam and operates in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Futurewhiz is the mother company of Squla en Scoyo, as well as WRTS, an online learning platform for secondary school students enabling them to learn words and concepts more efficiently and quicker. Futurewhiz was founded in the Netherlands ten years ago. With Squla, Futurewhiz was certified by B-corp recently, and is one of the frontrunners in the field of CSR and social impact. Squla is the main provider of additional interactive educational tools for primary school pupils in the Netherlands. Over 180,000 children play and practice with Squla from their homes and more than 600,000 primary school students use its tools at school. Squla is active in the Netherlands and Poland, with Squla.nl and Squla.pl. WRTS is the platform for secondary school students and helps them to prepare for tests with quizzes about words and concepts, practice tests, video and 1 to 1 support by tutor chats. Every year, over half a million students and teachers are active on WRTS.nl and WRTS.be. Scoyo.de is a German online learning platform that was launched fifteen years ago and was bought in 2020 by Futurewhiz. Scoyo offers exercise materials, based on the same format as Squla to pupils in grade 1 to 7 in Germany.

About NPM Capital
NPM Capital invests in middle market companies in the Benelux and supports companies to enter the next growth phase in their development. NPM Capital, with SHV as its sole shareholder, has sufficient capital in order to apply a long investment horizon. Currently, NPM Capital has a portfolio of 26 participations (majority as well as minority holdings, including growth capital) and focuses on the following issues of the future: Future of Energy, Everything is Digital, Feeding the World and Healthy Life.

About Levine Leichtman Capital Partners
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners is a private equity firm with a focus on middle market companies. With a track-record of over 37 years and its in-depth expertise in several industries, such as franchising, professional services, healthcare, education and technical products, LLCP implements a distinctive investment strategy that combines investments in debt and equity. LLCP has managed approximately 11 billion dollar of institutional capital since inception, spread over 14 investment funds, and has invested in more than 85 portfolio companies. Currently, LLCP manages approximately 7 billion dollar of capital, including the most recent European Fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Europe II, SCSP that closed 2020 with 463 million euro committed capital – and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, London, Stockholm and The Hague.

Categories: News


Gryphon Investors Completes Majority Investment in Meazure Learning

Gryphon Investors

San Francisco, CA – December 22, 2020 —

Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has become the majority investor in Meazure Learning (“Meazure” or the “Company”), a full-service exam delivery and online proctoring solution provider for academic, professional, and lifelong learners. Existing sponsor Eastside Partners will retain a significant ownership stake, as will the Company’s management team, including go-forward CEO Scott McFarland. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Meazure Learning is the world’s largest remote exam proctoring company, also offering a full suite of assessment products and services, including proprietary exam development and delivery software as well as reporting and psychometric services, to the academic and professional testing markets. Based in Birmingham, AL, the Company employs nearly 300 people plus a network of over 1,300 trained proctors, and it serves more than 1,000 clients including major universities, certification and licensure associations, standardized testing services, and corporations.

Nick Orum, President and Co-Head of Gryphon’s Software Group, said, “Gryphon has invested previously in the education sector, and we are excited by the trends we’re seeing in the continued intersection of technology and learning. The increasing consumer preference for digitally driven flexibility has opened up a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity in the academic and professional remote testing spaces. We are thrilled to partner with the team at Meazure as we look to welcome new customers and reinforce the Company’s position as the most secure, convenient, and accessible experience for test-takers across the globe.”

Meazure’s management team will continue to be led by CEO McFarland and President Sandy Pitman. As part of the new partnership, Mr. Orum will join the Board of Directors, along with three additional Gryphon executives. Carl Theobald, Software Operating Partner, Jon Cheek, Principal in the Software Group, and Paul Margolis, Executive Advisor to Gryphon’s Software Group, will all join Eastside Partner Benjamin Cobb, who remains on the board.

Mr. Cheek commented, “Even before COVID-19, remote test-taking was undergoing a ‘Blockbuster to Netflix’ type transformation due to massive expansion in e-learning, a proliferation of professional training and certification programs, and a growing recognition of the test-taker convenience and cost savings offered by an online approach versus in-person testing. The pandemic has accelerated these growth trends beyond all expectations and given strong players like Meazure an enormous competitive advantage.”

Mr. Cobb added, “The pandemic has required many test owners to adopt remote proctoring solutions this year, often against the backdrop of 20+ years of in-person testing. We’ve helped testing organizations transition from uncertainty to excitement with remote testing due to some of its unique advantages – secure, safe, convenient, on-demand testing with global candidate reach. We’re excited to partner with Gryphon to better serve our customers and scale our solutions to support test owners whose needs aren’t being met.”

“We are delighted to partner with Gryphon as we plan for near-term, rapid expansion fueled by a changing industry and shifting expectations and requirements by test-takers,” said Mr. McFarland. “Their investment will allow us to solidify our position as a best-in-class remote testing and exam integrity platform and accelerate growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

Baird acted as financial advisor to Gryphon, and Raymond James was the financial advisor to Meazure. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon, and Bradley acted as legal advisor to Meazure. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Meazure Learning
Meazure Learning (www.meazurelearning.com) is a full-service testing solutions company for academic, professional and lifelong learners. The result of a merger between ProctorU – the world’s largest provider of online, artificial-intelligence-augmented exam security and identity management solutions – and Yardstick Assessment Strategies – a leader in psychometrics and computer-based examination administration for professional testing organizations – Meazure Learning serves the higher education market via the ProctorU brand and the professional testing market via the Yardstick brand. As the first end-to-end testing provider to lead with an online delivery model, Meazure Learning is transforming the testing and assessment landscape.

About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. The firm has managed over $5.0 billion of equity investments and capital since 1997. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with enterprise values ranging from approximately $100 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.




Categories: News


Ardian acquires a majority stake in AD Education, a European education platform specialized in arts, digital and audiovisual alongside its founder and CEO


  • 18 December 2020 Buyout France, Paris

Paris, December 18, 2020 – Ardian, a world-leading private equity house, announces the acquisition of a majority stake in AD Education alongside Kevin Guenegan, founder and CEO of the group as well as the management team.

Founded in 2009, AD Education is a leading European higher education platform, pure player in the field of Creative Arts, teaching to more than 15,000 students in 12 schools on 36 campuses in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. AD Education covers 4 main sub-segments: Design & Graphical Arts, Media & Digital, Audiovisual and Culture & Luxury.

Over the past 10 years, the Group has established itself as the French leader on its core educational fields, following continued organic growth as well as successful build-ups, and as a sizeable European platform following acquisitions in Italy, Spain and Germany.

Within the framework of the partnership with AD Education, Ardian will support Kevin Guenegan and the management team in accelerating both organic and external growth as well as reinforcing its geographical diversification strategy. Thanks to its solid expertise in the education sector and its international network, Ardian holds the financial and human resources to identify and seize growth opportunities and thus support AD Education in its ambitious growth plan.

Kevin Guenegan, Chairman of the AD Education Group, said: ”On behalf of all AD Education employees, I would like to welcome Ardian to this chapter that marks a new momentum for our company. We are very pleased with this agreement and partnership. With its financial and strategic resources, Ardian will enable AD Education to continue its development in line with the group’s values and its vision of education in Creative Arts, to pursue the consolidation of the different European markets, to invest in innovative programs and digital solutions to meet the needs and new trends and expectations of parents and students, while fully addressing the environmental, social and societal challenges of our societies.”

Philippe Poletti, Chairman of Ardian France, member of the Executive Committee and Head of Ardian Buyout, added: “We are delighted with this ambitious partnership with Kevin Guenegan and his management team, which also allows us to invest in a growth project in education, an attractive investment sector with a real social and societal impact.”

Emmanuel Miquel, Managing Director in the Ardian Buyout team, said: “With their renowned expertise in Creative Arts, Kevin Guenegan and his team have created a first class European platform and enabled the company to experience remarkable growth, offering coherent and innovative courses adapted to today’s challenges. We are very proud to become AD Education’s partner in the next phase of its story and to accompany them in their growth strategy and international development.”



    • Emmanuel Miquel, Nicolas Trani, Jean-Baptiste Hunaut, Anouk Daoudal
    • Buyer M&A advisors: Centerview Partners (Nicolas Constant, Pierre Pasqual, Matthieu Sommier, Cassandre Devoir),
    • Buyer legal advisor: Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Eduardo Fernandez, Gil Kiener, Louis Jambu-Merlin) (corporate), Latham & Watkins (Xavier Farde, Carla-Sophie Imperadeiro (financing), Olivia Rauch-Ravisé, Clémence Morel (structuring)),
    • Buyer strategic DD: EY Parthenon (Guéric Jacquet, Anna Grotberg),
    • Buyer financial DD: KPMG (Guilhem Maguin, Grégoire Didier),
    • Buyer legal DD: Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Eduardo Fernandez, Gil Kiener, Louis Jambu-Merlin),
    • Buyer tax DD: KPMG Avocats (Sophie Fournier-Dedoyard),
    • Buyer labor DD: Chassany Watrelot et Associés (Julien Boucaud-Maitre)

    • Kevin Guenegan (Founder & CEO of AD Education), Cathay Capital (Fabien Wesse), BPIFrance (Benoist de Saint Léger),
    • Vendor M&A advisors: Lazard Frères (Charles Andrez, Jean-Philippe Bescond, Razika Abchiche), Eurvad Finance (Charles Guigan),
    • Vendor legal advisors: Gowling WLG (Patrick Mousset),
    • Vendor strategic DD: BCG (Benjamin Entraygues, Guillaume Darrieus)
    • Vendor financial DD: Alvarez & Marsal (Frédéric Steiner),
    • Vendor legal DD: Gowling WLG (Patrick Mousset),
    • Vendor tax DD: Arsène Taxand (Alexandre Rocchi),
    • Management financial advisor: Jeausserand Audouard (Jérémie Jeausserand), Oloryn Partners (Eric Lesieur).


Founded in 2009, AD Education is a leading European higher education platform, pure player in the field of Creative Arts and teaching to more than 15,000 students in 12 schools on 36 campuses in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. AD Education covers 4 main sub-segments: Design & Graphical Arts, Media & Digital, Audiovisual and Culture & Luxury. Over the past 10 years, the Group has established itself as the French leader on its core educational fields, following continued organic growth as well as successful build-ups, and as a sizeable European platform following acquisitions in Italy, Spain and Germany.


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$100bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 700 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of around 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt. Follow Ardian on Twitter @Ardian


ARDIAN – Headland


VTsvetanov@headlandconsultancy.com +44 207 3435 7469

Categories: News