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.

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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.

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

Ardian

  • 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.”

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

  • ARDIAN

    • 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)
  • AD EDUCATION

    • 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).

ABOUT AD EDUCATION

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.

ABOUT ARDIAN

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

PRESS CONTACTS

ARDIAN – Headland

VIKTOR TSVETANOV

VTsvetanov@headlandconsultancy.com +44 207 3435 7469

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Montagu to acquire Capita’s ESS business and invest in ParentPay Group

Montagu

Montagu to acquire Capita’s ESS business and invest in ParentPay Group

Montagu Private Equity (“Montagu”), a leading European private equity firm, today announces it has agreed to acquire the Education Software Solutions business (“ESS”) of Capita plc and has also agreed to invest in ParentPay Group (“ParentPay”), a leading provider of education technology. Following successful completion of both investments, ESS will become part of the ParentPay Group.

ESS is a standalone provider of management information system and related software for the education sector. ESS’ flagship product SIMS is used by 19,000 schools in the UK and internationally to collect and manage a database of student information and core school operations.

ParentPay delivers online payments, income management, parental engagement and school catering solutions to over 18,000 schools and caterers across the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.

Through the acquisition of ESS and the subsequent proposed investment, Montagu and ParentPay intend to bring together two high-quality and complementary businesses in the education software market. Montagu and ParentPay intend to utilise their combined expertise and network to support and accelerate innovation within the product portfolio, including the roll-out of ESS’s cloud-native SIMS 8 and other value-add services to schools and parents, catering to their increasingly sophisticated needs.

Edward Shuckburgh, Director at Montagu, said: “We are excited to be backing ESS which is an excellent fit for Montagu’s investment strategy, providing essential services to an extensive customer school base and operating in a market with attractive secular growth drivers. With ParentPay, we are also delighted to be bringing together two businesses with complementary products and shared values, with the ultimate aim of broadening the companies’ respective leading offerings to further benefit end customers.”

Mark Brant, CEO of ParentPay, said: “As one of the UK’s earliest ‘fintechs’, innovation has always been at the heart of ParentPay. By continually adapting and investing we ensure our customers in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany can count on us. Together with ESS and Montagu we will be able to further accelerate innovation in our sector. We look forward to welcoming the ESS team into the ParentPay Group and working closely with Montagu to further enhance the value we deliver to our collective customers.”

Andy Bennett, Managing Director of ESS, said: “We are very pleased with the sale to Montagu, a proven, collaborative investor in high-quality companies and the intention to become part of the ParentPay Group. This deal will provide significant opportunities to grow our business and bring further value to our employees and customers.
We look forward to working with our new owners to support and accelerate innovation within our product portfolio particularly with our SIMS product as we continue to improve and enhance how we support staff in over 19,000 schools across the UK with the tools to manage school life.”

Completion of the ESS sale to Montagu is subject to approval from Capita’s shareholders and the proposed investment in ParentPay is subject to CMA approvals.

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Sovereign exits its investment in BIMM – Europe’s leading provider of creative arts education

Sovereign Capital

Sovereign Capital Partners, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, announces the realisation of its investment in education provider BIMM, the largest and leading provider of creative arts education in Europe through a sale to funds managed by ICG plc, the global alternative asset manager. The exit follows a highly successful ten-year partnership with BIMM.

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When Sovereign first invested in BIMM the Group had 1,150 contemporary music students in colleges in Brighton and Bristol. Today, the Group has 12 colleges across Europe. These include London, Dublin, Birmingham, Manchester, Berlin and Hamburg, established through five strategic acquisitions and five new campus roll-outs and the Group now has over 8,200 students across the creative arts education areas of music, film and performing arts.

BIMM is renowned for its expertise in the tuition of contemporary music and as part of its strategic diversification, BIMM moved into the broader creative arts education market to include film and performing arts. This was achieved through the acquisitions of the Institute for Contemporary Theatre, based in Brighton in 2017, Performers College in 2019, and recently the acquisition of the prestigious Northern Ballet School which also became the location for BIMM’s Institute of Contemporary Theatre Manchester campus.

The high quality and relevance of BIMM’s specialist vocational education offering is reflected in the continued increase in student enrolments, its 83% graduate employment rate in Creative Arts, and being granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers in the UK, by Order of the Privy Council in March 2019 which further enhances the Group’s attraction to students. Well known alumni include Ella Mai, George Ezra, Mercy Sotire and James Bay and BIMM’s Patron is The Who’s, Roger Daltrey.

Adam Carswell, Chief Executive, BIMM said, ‘This has been an incredible journey with Sovereign. Everyone at BIMM has always been passionate about bringing a high-quality education offering to students who want to learn the skills that are most relevant to provide them with the best possible chance of a successful career in the creative industries, following their dreams and career ambitions. The attractiveness of our offering to students has been constant and with Sovereign’s continued investment and strategic support, we have been able to achieve more than we had ever envisaged. It’s been an amazing 10 years for BIMM and I have been privileged to work with our incredibly talented lecturers, our staff and my board colleagues, as well as the team at Sovereign. I very much look forward to leading BIMM’s continued success and growth.’

James Dargan, Investment Director, Sovereign said, ‘The BIMM team are both passionately creative and commercially strong. It has been tremendous to work with them to support both the follow-on acquisitions and the roll-out of new colleges. The arts and culture industry contributes around £11 billion a year to the UK economy; this is a very attractive market to graduate into and the students value the vocational nature of the courses BIMM is recognised for. I am sure the Group will continue to go from strength to strength.’

Andrew Hayden, Chairman, Sovereign added, ‘We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work with an excellent management team to create a clear market leader in creative arts higher education. We have invested in BIMM over the years to support transformational growth and to help ensure that quality has remained front and centre. The talent that has blossomed under the care of the BIMM staff is extraordinary. It’s been a real privilege to have played a part in BIMM’s story and we wish the Group every continued success.’

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Symphony Technology Group Acquires Warpwire, Leading Provider of Educational Video Services

Stg Partners

Warpwire marks STG’s third investment into a unified platform following the acquisitions of CadmiumCD and EthosCE earlier this year.

Symphony Technology Group (“STG”), a Palo Alto-based private equity firm focused on investing in the software, data analytics, and software-enabled technology services sectors, today announced that it has acquired Warpwire, a Durham, North Carolina-based educational video management company.

“Warpwire focuses on providing world-class reliability and security to our customers. Our partnership with STG will only increase our capabilities for robust video delivery,” said Warpwire co-founder and CTO Monte Evans.

This acquisition underscores STG’s commitment to building a unique, market-leading software platform offering continuing education, professional development, events, learning and content management solutions to associations, healthcare & life sciences organizations, hospitals, and universities globally. Warpwire marks STG’s third investment in this platform following the acquisitions of CadmiumCD and EthosCE earlier this year.

“The acquisitions of EthosCE, CadmiumCD, and now Warpwire, are the continuation of STG’s vision of a unified technology platform for professional education,” said William Chisholm, co-founder and Managing Partner of STG.

“We’re impressed with STG’s research in this product space, and vision to join and strengthen like-minded teams. As we align with EthosCE and CadmiumCD, Warpwire is energized to continue creating compelling media solutions for our shared client base,” adds Warpwire co-founder and COO Andrew Synowiez.

This acquisition is another step toward STG’s vision to create a purpose-built software platform for association, healthcare, life sciences and university customers to help them manage various continuing education, professional development and learning activities through events and online content for their members.

“We released an integration with Warpwire in March 2018,” said EthosCE founder and CTO Ezra Wolfe. “We look forward to offering Warpwire’s video services in new and unique ways as an additional value-add for clients who use video content as part of their continuing education programs.”

“We are very excited to bring Warpwire into our expanding portfolio of industry-leading products and scale it even further by investing in new solution areas and complementary acquisitions,” said Rushi Kulkarni, Principal at STG.

Benefits of the expanded platform include:

  • Trackable video content and learner usage metrics
  • Low-cost video hosting for continuing education programs
  • Secure video delivery inside a password-protected continuing education environment
  • Ad-free video player environment for CME
  • Multi-camera video recording and playback
  • Multiple closed caption provider options, and manual video captions

A 5-minute demo of the Warpwire integration with EthosCE is available on the Warpwire platform.

About Warpwire

Warpwire is a video delivery platform for leading enterprise and educational institutions whose users require a secure, simple, and reliable system for hosting media content. Founded in 2013, Warpwire’s team has extensive experience custom-integrating media technologies for learning environments in ways that are accessible, flexible, and collaborative.

For more information, please visit www.warpwire.com

About EthosCE

EthosCE is the leading learning management system for medical associations, universities, health systems, and medical education companies. EthosCE is produced by DLC Solutions, LLC. Established in 2001, DLC Solutions develops innovative e-learning solutions to support diverse professional populations.

For more information, please visit www.ethosce.com

About CadmiumCD

CadmiumCD is an event management software company with more than 15 years of experience providing solutions for Meeting Planners, Exhibition Organizers, Education Directors, and Attendees. The company’s award-winning platform is trusted by more than 3,500 meeting professionals worldwide to collect, manage and share content to all event stakeholders.

For more information, please visit www.cadmiumcd.com

About Symphony Technology Group

STG is the private equity partner to market leading companies in data, software, and analytics. The firm brings expertise, flexibility, and resources to build strategic value and unlock the potential of innovative companies. Partnering to build customer-centric, market winning portfolio companies, STG creates sustainable foundations for growth that bring value to all existing and future stakeholders. The firm is dedicated to transforming and building outstanding technology companies in partnership with world class management teams. STG’s expansive portfolio has consisted of more than 30 global companies.

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CDPQ increases its interest in CAE

Cdpq

Private Equity, Québec Montréal,

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Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) has announced a $150 million equity investment in CAE (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE), a world leader in training and operational support in the civil aviation, defence and security and health care markets. With this transaction, CDPQ is supporting the Québec company’s expansion plans, including the acquisition of Flight Simulation Company B.V., which will allow CAE to grow its capacity to offer training services to customers in Europe, primarily airlines and cargo carriers. This transaction was done in conjuction with the company’s previously announced drive to raise $300 million in capital.Despite the unprecedented situation created by COVID‑19, the Québec company has proven the resilience of its business model over the last year. The investment announced today will allow CAE to finance potential future growth and acquisition opportunities.

“Our investment is rooted in a desire to support a resilient Québec business like CAE in its recovery and growth efforts. In a global context that is challenging for the aeronautics sector, CAE continues to demonstrate the capacity to innovate in various growth sectors of the economy and strengthen its competitive position with a view to fully resume activities,” declared Kim Thomassin, CDPQ’s Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Quebec and Stewardship Investing.

“The successful completion of the public offering and private placement will provide CAE with additional financial flexibility to pursue our strategic growth opportunities and capitalize on potential future acquisition opportunities, while maintaining a solid financial position,” said Marc Parent, CAE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased with the continued partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and we are proud with the trust they have placed in CAE, a Quebec-based high-technology and training leader.”

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and para-public pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2020, it held CA$333.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit www.cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT CAE

CAE is a high technology company, at the leading edge of digital immersion, providing solutions to make the world a safer place. Backed by a record of more than 70 years of industry firsts, we continue to reimagine the customer experience and revolutionize training and operational support solutions in civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare. We are the partner of choice to customers worldwide who operate in complex, high-stakes and largely regulated environments, where successful outcomes are critical. Testament to our customers’ ongoing needs for our solutions, over 60 percent of CAE’s revenue is recurring in nature. We have the broadest global presence in our industry, with approximately 10,000 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. www.cae.com

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Naxicap Partners has acquired Eureka Education Group, a major player in private professional and higher education, from Abénex and the Finoli Group

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Naxicap

Partnered with majority shareholder Abénex since 2018, Eureka Education has today issued a statement on its ongoing growth strategy alongside Naxicap Partners, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers*.
On completion of the deal, Abénex and the Finoli Group will transfer their interest to Naxicap Partners, which will hold a majority of the group’s capital alongside managers, who are reinvesting in the deal.

Eureka Education is now a major player in private professional and higher education through its three education verticals: Silvya Terrade (beauty, cosmetics, fragrances, and hairdressing); Euridis Business School (complex B2B sales and negotiations); and SupTertiaire (real estate and social housing). Drawing on the skills of more than 1,000 teachers, the group hosts nearly 10,000 students each year for training programmes from high-school to BAC+5 on more than 50 campuses in France and Switzerland. The training courses are fully recognised by the state and professional branches and are based on Education Nationale diplomas (BAC, BTS, etc.) as well as RNCP and CQP qualifications from levels 1 to 5 (V to I in the French nomenclature).

Since its acquisition by Abénex in April 2018, the group has implemented an ambitious buy-and-build strategy with the completion of nearly 20 external growth deals, allowing for the strengthening of Silvya Terrade’s historic leadership and the addition of two new high-growth divisions (Euridis Business School and SupTertiaire).

The Group aims to pursue its organic and external growth strategy in France and in Europe by expanding its existing network of schools, acquiring schools in new education verticals, and increasing investments in the digitisation of content and teaching methods.
Bernard de Sagazan, head of Eureka Education, says, ‘We are very pleased to welcome Naxicap Partners with which we share an ambitious vision of the group’s development. This will allow us to continue to develop our training catalogue according to market needs and better understand the many recent developments in our sector such as the rise in apprenticeship and the arrival of CPF in its new form’.
Antoine Houël, a partner at Abénex, adds, ‘We are proud to have supported Eureka Education Group management during this impressive expansion phase. Eureka is now a major player in education in France, operating three renowned schools, recognised both for the quality of their teaching and their ability to facilitate students’ entry into ambitious career paths. We wish the new shareholders and management every success in continuing this way’.

‘Naxicap Partners is pleased to announce the acquisition of a majority stake in Eureka Education Group alongside Bernard de Sagazan and his teams. The group’s expertise and unique position as well as the quality of its management team make this a rare investment opportunity in the sector’, said Eric Aveillan, Chairman of the Executive Board at Naxicap Partners.

Contacts:
Eureka Education: Bernard de Sagazan
Legal – Corporate: Hugot Avocats (Olivier Hugot, Farrah Ducher)
Legal – Management: Jeausserand Audouard (Erwan Bordet, Eléonore Gaulier)
Financial Adviser – managers: Oloryn Partners (Eric Lesieur, Cyrille Leclerc)
Financial VDD: KPMG (Damien Moron, Sophie Dervain, Charles-Boris Pavard)
Finoli Group: Grégory Declercq, Pierre Juhen
Legal – M&A: Jeausserand Audouard (Erwan Bordet, Eléonore Gaulier)
M&A Adviser: Rothschild & Co. (Pierre Sader, Augustin Delouvrier)
Abénex: Antoine Houël, Karim Hoebanx
Legal – M&A: McDermott, Will & Emery (Grégoire Andrieux, Louis Leroy, Lucas Tabouret)
M&A Adviser: Rothschild & Co. (Pierre Sader, Augustin Delouvrier)
Naxicap Partners: Eric Aveillan, Laurent Sallé, Aurélien Dorkel, Simon Ricque, Agathe Baujard, Mouncef Daifallah, Corentin Desbois
Legal – M&A and Corporate: Edge Avocats (Matthieu Lochardet, Claire Baufine-Ducrocq)
Legal – Tax: Keels Avocats (Laurent Partouche, Hélène Leclère, Adélie Louvigné)
Legal – Financial: Mayer Brown (Patrick Teboul, Marion Minard, Julien Leris)
M&A Adviser: Clearwater (Thomas Hamelin – Edmond de Rothschild Corporate Finance since 01/09/2020, Sophie Lerond), Lazard (Charles Andrez)
Financial Adviser: Clearwater (Laurence de Rosamel, Paul Assael)
Financial Due Diligence: Exelmans (Stéphane Dahan, Manuel Manas, Rodolphe Savary De Beauregard)
Legal, Tax and Social Due Diligence: Edge Avocats (Matthieu Lochardet, Claire Baufine-Ducrocq)
Strategic Due Diligence: Indefi (Julien Berger, Mehdi Belefqih, Adam Laissaoui)
Financing: Barings (Alice Foucault, Benjamin Gillet, Rana Misirlizade)
Barings Legal: Nabarro & Hinge (Jonathan Nabarro)

About Eureka Education
Eureka Education is the leading institution in the field of professional education in France and Switzerland. Every year, the Group provides over 10.000 students with a large array of courses ranging from French BAC (A-Level) to Master’s degrees across a proprietary network of 50 campuses and employed more than 1.000 teachers and administrative staff.
Building on strong and diversified fundamentals, as well as strenghtened financial capabilities, Eureka Education ambitions to further enhance its position as leading consolidation platform for high-employement professional schools in France and in Europe.
www.eureka-education.fr

About Naxicap Partners
As one of the top private equity firms in France, Naxicap Partners – an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers* – has €3.5 billion in assets under management. As a committed, responsible investor, Naxicap Partners builds solid, constructive partnerships with entrepreneurs so that their projects can succeed. The firm has 39 investment professionals spread across five offices in Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Nantes and Frankfurt.
For more information, visit www.naxicap.fr/en

About Natixis Investment Managers*
Natixis Investment Managers serves financial professionals with more insightful ways to construct portfolios. Powered by the expertise of more than 20 specialized investment managers globally, we apply Active Thinking® to deliver proactive solutions that help clients pursue better outcomes in all markets. Natixis Investment Managers ranks among the world’s largest asset management firms1 with more than $1 trillion assets under management2 (€906.0 billion).
eadquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis. Listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, Natixis is a subsidiary of BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms include AEW; Alliance Entreprendre; AlphaSimplex Group; DNCA Investments;3 Dorval Asset Management; Flexstone Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; H2O Asset Management; Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Mirova; MV Credit; Naxicap Partners; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seeyond; Seventure Partners; Thematics Asset Management; Vauban Infrastructure Partners; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; Vega Investment Managers;4 and WCM Investment Management. Additionally, investment solutions are offered through Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, and Natixis Advisors offers
other investment services through its AIA and MPA division. Not all offerings available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit Natixis Investment Managers’ website at im.natixis.com
| LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/natixis-investment-managers.
Natixis Investment Managers’ distribution and service groups include Natixis Distribution, L.P., a limited purpose broker-dealer and the distributor of various U.S. registered investment companies for which advisory services are provided by affiliated firms of Natixis Investment Managers, Natixis Investment Managers S.A. (Luxembourg), Natixis Investment Managers International (France), and their affiliated distribution and service entities in Europe and Asia.
1 Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2020 ranked Natixis Investment Managers as the 17th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2019.
2 Assets under management (“AUM”) as of June 30, 2020 is $1,017.7 billion. AUM, as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets, assets of minority-owned affiliated entities and other types of non-regulatory AUM managed or serviced by firms affiliated with Natixis Investment Managers.
3 A brand of DNCA Finance.
4 A wholly-owned subsidiary of Natixis Wealth Management.

About Abénex
Founded in 1992, Abénex is a historical player in French private equity market, specialized in growth and buyout transactions both as a minority and majority shareholder. Independent for more than 10 years, Abénex operates in three segments of private equity: Smallcaps, Midcaps and Real-estate.
In Small and Midcap segments, Abénex is a long-term investor partnering with entrepreneurs and founding families, and operationally-involved in growth and operational optimization projects. Abénex is committed to the Management team’s success, providing them with a fully dedicated operational team to support their projects of transformation and external growth strategy. Abénex invests in SMEs valued up to €50m in Smallcaps and between €50m and €500m in Midcaps.
The team is composed of 30 professionals with demonstrated and renowned expertise, located in Paris and Lyon.
Abénex is approved by the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) to manage FPCI (Fonds Professionnels de Capital Investissement) and OPCI (Organismes de Placement Collectif Immobilier) funds.
www.abenex.com

About Groupe Finoli
Groupe Finoli is a French industrial conglomerate founded in 2008 by MM Pierre Juhen and Grégory Declercq, with a strong track record of supporting long-term development projects and values. Groupe Finoli currently operates in the fields of healthcare, beauty and wellness, through its main subsidiaries PATYKA, the leading French organic skincare brand, and NUTRIMUSCLE, European leader in the field of food supplements dedicated to high-intensity ahtletes.

Press contacts

Naxicap Partners
Valérie Sammut – Tel: 04 72 10 87 99
valerie.sammut@naxicap.fr
Abenex
Antoine Houël – Tel : 01 53 93 69 18
antoine.houel@abenex.com

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ClassWallet to Distribute ‘Strong Families, Strong Students Initiative’ Funds in Idaho to Low-Income Families for Remote Learning Expenses During COVID-19

Brentwood

ClassWallet has been awarded a contract from the State of Idaho and the Idaho State Board of Education to help distribute close to $50 million in funds for its ‘Strong Families, Strong Students Initiative’ to families for their remote learning needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds for the initiative come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

ClassWallet will work with Idaho’s Office of the State Board of Education to administer the distribution of funds, safely and securely, from its advanced fintech platform to roughly 30,000 eligible families. Students are eligible for grants of $1,500 each, with a maximum of $3,500 per family. Families will be provided with digital wallets to cover online learning expenses including, but not limited to, technology (computers, software and other devices), internet connectivity, instructional materials, fees for courses, tutoring services and educational services and therapies.

“We created the Strong Families, Strong Students Initiative to provide economic support to Idaho’s low-income families for their children’s educational needs during this difficult time,” said Governor Little in his press conference announcing the initiative. “It is important that we do all that we can to keep parents from having to leave the work force to ensure their children receive a quality educational experience.”

“The ClassWallet platform will enable Idaho to work quickly and nimbly to distribute funds to those families most in need for specific online learning assistance,” said Jamie Rosenberg, ClassWallet co-founder and CEO. “At the same time, we put checks and balances in place to ensure accountability and transparency, while reducing staff time, paperwork and administrative headaches.”

The company manages similar grant programs in Arizona, North Carolina and Oklahoma and is under consideration in several other states. In addition, ClassWallet’s spending management program for teachers is currently in use in more than 135,000 classrooms spread across 3,200 schools in a total of 20 states.

“ClassWallet’s financial technology platform is helping state governments and school districts of all sizes to safely and securely distribute funds for a wide variety of educational purposes,” said Eric Reiter, partner, Brentwood Associates and a director in ClassWallet. “In many ways, the company is acting like a ‘market maker’ in that it solves complex funding distribution challenges up front which allows new programs to be developed.”

Read the full announcement:

ClassWallet to Distribute ‘Strong Families, Strong Students Initiative’ Funds in Idaho to Low-Income Families for Remote Learning Expenses During COVID-19

Rotunda Capital-Backed Trinity3 Technology and FireFly Computers Unite to Serve the K-12 Tech Market

Rotunda Capital Partners

ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Trinity3 Technology and FireFly Computers are pleased to announce that the two companies are merging, effective today. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This merger unites two leading providers of technology solutions to the K-12 market and will be led by Scott Gill, currently president and chief executive officer of Trinity3. Both businesses are based in Minnesota and will retain existing operating locations in St. Paul and Arden Hills.

“While we are focused foremost on computing device availability for school districts and students across the U.S. this fall, I am excited by the combination of our two teams and the positive impact it will have on our ability to deliver a uniquely superior customer experience in the years ahead,” said Gill.

“FireFly and Trinity3 coming together feels like a perfect union in so many ways, and I believe it will create something special and unparalleled in the K-12 market.” said Kari Phillips, former CEO of FireFly. “It’s been an absolute honor to lead FireFly to this point, and I can’t wait to see what we achieve together as a unified team, at a time schools need us more than ever.”

The combined company will continue to be a Rotunda Capital Partners portfolio company, following Rotunda’s acquisition of Trinity3 Technology last year. Rotunda provided additional equity capital for the merger, alongside investments by Kari Phillips and Devang Shah from FireFly, who will both join the combined company board in non-executive roles.

“We are excited to back the united Trinity3/FireFly team and create one of the largest K-12 technology focused platforms in the U.S.,” said John Fruehwirth, managing partner at Rotunda Capital Partners. “The unique scale of the combined firm will further enhance service levels while reducing total cost of IT ownership for school districts by combining our device knowledge, deployment services, and customized comprehensive multi-year warranty programs.”


About FireFly Computers

From its start, FireFly Computers built its identity in the K-12 market as a vendor focused on solving customer pain points. This solution-oriented mindset naturally grew into a public mission of “Hassle-Free, Worry-Free Technology.” With customer experience always at the forefront, FireFly has developed services and conveniences found nowhere else and has established itself as a key player in delivering affordable, high-quality computing technology to schools and government. The level of excellence FireFly has achieved has everything to do with an internal culture of being “supportive, evolving, and fun.” Over the years, FireFly has helped thousands of technology directors succeed in putting more devices in the hands of more students as their truly committed partner in education technology. For more, visit www.fireflycomputers.com

About Trinity3 Technology

Trinity3 Technology is wholly immersed in serving the technology needs of the education market. The company offers custom solutions—including student computing, warranty services and enterprise products—to suit each customer’s unique needs. Backed by an experienced team of sales, support, and technical professionals, Trinity3 delivers exceptional value to educational institutions. What makes Trinity3 Technology unique is not just the products and services offered but the people who stand behind them. For more, visit www.trinity3.com

About Rotunda Capital Partners

Rotunda Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests equity capital in established, lower middle market companies. Rotunda Capital partners with management to build data-driven growth platforms within its targeted sectors, including value added distribution, asset light logistics, industrial/business services and specialty finance/insurance services. Founded in 2009, the firm has a long history of helping management teams achieve their goals for growth. The Rotunda Capital team actively provides guidance and draws on deep industry and financial relationships to contribute to the successful execution of Rotunda’s companies’ strategic plans. For more, visit www.rotundacapital.com


Contacts

Scott Gill
Trinity3 Technology | FireFly Computers
(651) 888-7922
sgill@trinity3.com

Jill Lafferty
Rotunda Capital Partners
(847) 280-1295
jill@rotundacapital.com