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

Kian Portfolio Exit Announcement — TrueLearn

Kian Capital

Jun 10, 2020

Kian Capital Partners, a middle-market focused private investment firm, is pleased to announce a successful exit from its investment in TrueLearn (“TrueLearn”) through a sale to LLR Partners (“LLR”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

Headquartered in Mooresville, NC, TrueLearn is a leading provider of virtual learning and exam preparation software for physicians and healthcare professionals seeking Board licensure and accreditation. The Company relentlessly advocates for learners seeking to maximize outcomes across a multitude of healthcare fields, including medical specialties such as General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and OB/GYN, and partners with medical schools and healthcare training programs to promote the highest levels of success. TrueLearn’s innovative platform leverages elements of cognition and data science to help make learning more durable, while providing insightful performance analytics to faculty that can be used to guide teaching.

 

The business was founded in 2008 by Dr. Joshua Courtney, while completing his own Anesthesiology residency. In early 2017, Kian made a minority investment in TrueLearn that enabled Dr. Courtney to regain full control of his business and focus on key growth initiatives to drive the business forward. Since then, Kian has served as a value-added Board member and financial partner to Dr. Courtney and the Truelearn executive team as they’ve successfully executed a winning strategy, resulting in significant growth.

 

“Kian has been a true partner over the last three years, offering insight and flexibility as we shifted our operations to the Charlotte area, bolstered our executive team and attained important growth targets,” Dr. Courtney stated. “It was a huge benefit to have a financial partner I could rely on as we navigated through a tight timeline to close our deal in 2017. Kian’s genuine partnership approach was paramount during an important period in the Company’s history, resulting in a rewarding relationship that has positioned TrueLearn for accelerated growth as we look to serve our customers in new and exciting ways in the future.”

 

E-learning solutions such as those offered by TrueLearn are in high demand as institutions adjust to asynchronous and remote classroom environments. In recent months, TrueLearn has expanded its offerings beyond physician education to adjacent healthcare markets including pharmacy and allied health. This shift has helped meet rising needs of medical schools, residency programs and allied healthcare programs, which seek to train learners in remote settings, while continuing to address the problem of healthcare workforce shortages.

 

“At Kian, we have a flexible investment mandate that allows us to structure investments to meet the unique needs of companies and their founders. We were proud to back Josh and his executive team with a capital solution that helped TrueLearn achieve such success,” commented Matt Levenson, Partner at Kian Capital. “LLR brings valuable expertise in the education, technology and healthcare industries. TrueLearn is well-positioned to take advantage of all the resources and experience that will be available as they grow to the next level. We look forward to developing future partnerships within the e-learning and test prep space.”

 

DC Advisory acted as exclusive financial advisor to TrueLearn.

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Montagu invests in Galileo Global Education

Montagu

Montagu announces that it has agreed to participate in the buyout of Galileo Global Education (“Galileo”) within a consortium of financial investors.

Galileo is a leading, international provider of higher education to over 110,000 enrolled students.  Its network of 42 schools on 80 campuses offer a number of subjects including applied arts, fashion, design and digital/Internet, business and medicine.  It operates in 13 countries around the world, with a particular presence in France, Italy, Germany, Cyprus and Mexico.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Paris, Galileo is Europe’s largest higher education group, in terms of both geographical spread and breadth of course offering.  Its network includes highly respected institutions including the Paris School of Business (PSB), Cours Florent and Atelier de Sèvres in France, Instituto de Estudios Universitarios in Mexico, Macromedia University in Germany and Istituto Marangoni in Italy.

Montagu is delighted to work with Marc-François and his very capable team who are committed to making Galileo the leading global provider of higher education.  Galileo’s market-leading position and its great reputation in higher education makes it an excellent fit for our investment strategy.

Marc-François Mignot Mahon, CEO of Galileo Global Education, said “Galileo is proud to welcome Montagu, which join forces with other major institutional investors to support us in becoming the world leader in higher education and continue our mission at the service of society: to educate and train.”

This is our second transaction in the education sector in recent years.  Montagu had previously invested in the University of Law – the leading provider of professional legal education and training in England and Wales – which was sold to Global University Systems in 2015.

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EQT Credit completes financing to support growth of Dukes Education

eqt

EQT Credit, through its Direct Lending investment strategy, is pleased to announce that it has provided incremental committed credit facilities to support the continued growth of Dukes Education Group (“Dukes” or the “Company”).

Founded in 2015 by Aatif Hassan, Dukes is a leading UK-based provider of private premium nurseries, K-12 schools, colleges and summer schools, as well as university consultancy services.

Andrew Cleland-Bogle, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Credit, commented: “Dukes comprises a portfolio of schools with outstanding quality and strong academic results. We have been impressed by the high calibre of Aatif and his management team, as well as the track record of growth achieved during our continued partnership. This transaction marks one of several made by the Credit platform in the education sector and is another example of the platform’s ongoing ability to provide long-term support to founder-led companies as they expand.”

Aatif Hassan, Founder and Chairman of Dukes, commented: “EQT Credit’s support has been unwavering. We are pleased to have them as a committed long-term partner as we continue to grow our family of best in class schools and educators.”

Contact
Andrew Cleland-Bogle, Partner at EQT Partners, +44 20 7430 5510
EQT Press Office, +46 8 506 55 334, press@eqtpartners.com

About EQT
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 41 billion in assets under management across 19 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com

About EQT Credit
EQT Credit invests through three complementary strategies: Senior Debt, Direct Lending, and Special Situations. Since inception, EQT Credit has raised over EUR 7 billion of capital and invested in over 160 companies. EQT Credit’s Direct Lending strategy seeks to provide flexible, long-term debt solutions to support European businesses, across a wide range of sectors. These businesses include privately-owned companies seeking growth capital as well as those that are the subject of private equity-led acquisitions or refinancings.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com/business-segments/credit/strategies/

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Funds advised by Apax Partners to acquire Cadence Education from Funds advised by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

Investment to support continued growth of a leader in early childhood education

Scottsdale, AZ and New York, NY, February 12, 2020: Funds advised by Apax Partners (the “Apax Funds”) today announced they have reached an agreement to acquire Cadence Education, a leading provider of early childhood education in North America, from investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (“MSCP”). The transaction is expected to complete in March 2020. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cadence Education serves families and students in more than 225 private preschools through a network of over 40 brands, including the company’s flagship Cadence Academy brand. The company’s schools serve children aged six weeks to 12 years. With more than 27 years in business, Cadence Education schools offer a proprietary curriculum developed by experts to give students the skills and confidence necessary to excel in their next phase of education.

The investment from the Apax Funds will support Cadence Education to continue its impressive growth trajectory, including strategic acquisitions and the expansion of core operational capabilities.

Dave Goldberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cadence Education, said: “We are very excited about our new partnership with Apax, which will help drive our continued growth and bring our mission of providing an exceptional education in a fun and nurturing environment to even more children. MSCP has been a great partner to the business, and we thank them for their support.”

Nick Hartman, Partner at Apax Partners, said: “We look forward to working with Dave and the Cadence Education team to continue to execute the strategy that has established the company as a leader in the early childhood education space. Cadence Education’s focus on children and parents delivers industry-leading customer satisfaction which, in combination with a highly-skilled team, positions the company for continued growth.”

David Thompson, Executive Director of MSCP, said: “We are proud to have partnered with Cadence Education to strengthen its educational offering and deepen its position as a leading provider of early childhood education in the US. Cadence Education is deeply committed to its mission of providing high quality education and care to families, and we have appreciated the opportunity to work with Dave Goldberg and the entire Cadence team during this exciting growth period.”

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal advisor, and William Blair and Lazard Middle Market served as financial advisors to MSCP. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to Apax Partners.

About Cadence Education

Cadence Education is one of the premier early childhood educators in the United States, operating more than 225 private preschools across the country. With more than 27 years in business, Cadence has developed an unparalleled expertise in preparing students to thrive in the next step of their childhood. Cadence Education provides parents with peace of mind by giving children an exceptional education every fun-filled day in a place as nurturing as home. For additional information about Cadence, please visit www.cadence-education.com.

About Apax Partners

Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 40-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of c.$50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare, and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.

About Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, is a leading middle-market private equity platform that has invested capital in a broad spectrum of industries for over three decades. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners focuses on privately negotiated equity and equity-related investments primarily in North America and seeks to create value in portfolio companies primarily in a series of subsectors in the business services, consumer, healthcare, industrials, and education markets with an emphasis on driving significant organic and acquisition growth through an operationally focused approach. For further information about Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, please visit: www.morganstanley.com/im/capitalpartners.

Media Contacts

For Apax Partners

Global Media: Andrew Kenny, Apax | +44 20 7 872 6371 | andrew.kenny@apax.com

USA Media: Todd Fogarty, Kekst CNC | +1 212-521-4854 | apax@kekstcnc.com

UK Media: Matthew Goodman / James Madsen, Greenbrook | +44 20 7952 2000 | apax@greenbrookpr.com

Notes to Editors 

London-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.com) and Paris-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.fr) had a shared history but are separate, independent private equity firms.

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IK Investment Partners joins Amin Khiari and Quilvest by investing in GEDH to accelerate its development

ik-investment-partners

Groupe EDH (“GEDH” or the “Group”), controlled by Quilvest Capital Partners (“Quilvest”) and Amin Khiari, has announced that IK Investment Partners (“IK”), a leading Pan-European private equity firm, has acquired a minority stake in the Group. The investment demonstrates a common willingness to pursue a strong development strategy for the private higher education Group, expanding both in France and internationally.

A pioneer in the field of communication (EFAP), cultural management (ICART) and journalism (EFJ), the Group, managed by Amin Khiari since 2014, received investment from Quilvest in 2017 in order to support its growth plan and in particular its external growth operations. GEDH has since completed the acquisitions of the Brassart and Aries schools, both specialised in the field of digital creation, now combined under the Brassart brand with a presence in 13 cities in France. More recently, the Spanish communication and design university CESINE, based in Santander, joined the Group.

“Our Group has undergone a significant development phase over the past five years through a combination of organic growth, geographic expansion and external growth, increasing from 2,000 to nearly 7,000 students, from three to five schools and from five to twenty campuses. We are proud of these results, rewarding a continuous improvement strategy of both our programs and educational methods to offer an ever better service and professional insertion to our students. The investment from IK will provide us with the necessary resources to pursue a next phase of growth in the coming years, in keeping with the identity and values of our schools,” said Amin Khiari, Chairman of GEDH

IK’s investment will allow the Group to keep up with the financing requirements in its existing schools and through their geographic roll-out, as well as for the acquisition and integration of new campuses in France and abroad, strengthening the position of GEDH as a leader in private higher education in France.

“We are delighted that the management of GEDH and Quilvest have decided to place their trust in us and to be able to contribute to the wider development of these schools. Our approach is based on a clear ambition: to build a champion in higher education in the fields of communication, culture and creation, in France and abroad,” added Thomas Grob, Partner at IK Investment Partners.

Quilvest Capital Partners retains its reference shareholding position in Groupe EDH, alongside Amin Khiari.

“We are familiar with the professionalism and quality of IK Investment Partners’ team and we look forward to building this new team alongside the management of Groupe EDH and continue the fantastic development that we have experienced for several years,” stated Thomas Vatier, Partner at Quilvest Capital Partners.

Parties involved in the transaction

Buyside
IK Investment Partners:  Thomas Grob, Thibaut Richard, Florent Labiale, Adrien Normand
Legal advisor: Goodwin (Thomas Maitrejean, Mathieu Terrisse)
Commercial advisor: PMSI (Rémi de Guilhermier, Lucinda Nicholson)
Financial advisor: Eight Advisory (Lionnel Gerard, Guillaume Catoire)
Legal and tax advisor: PwC Société d’avocats (Jérôme Gertler, Marc-Olivier Roux, Bernard Borrely)

Sellside
Quilvest Capital Partners: Thomas Vatier, Loeiz Lagadec, Hichem Hadjoudj
M&A advisor:  Eurvad Finance (Charles Guigan, Yassine Jnan, Martin Klotz)
Legal advisor: Mayer Brown: Corporate (Olivier Aubouin, Patrick Loiseau Renan Lombard-Platet, Alexandre de Puysegur); Financing (Patrick Teboul, Marion Minard, Julien Léris); Tax structure (Elodie Deschamps, Pauline Barbier)
Financing advisor: Finaxeed (Vincent Rivaillon, Matthieu Lecomte)
Financial advisor: Exelmans (Stéphane Dahan, Richard Dahan, Chenwei Xu, Géraud Delloye)
Legal, tax and real-estate advisor: Delsol: Corporate (Henri-Louis Delsol et Alexandre Zitoune); Tax (Julien Monsenego et Margot Lasserre); Social (Delphine Bretagnolle, Jessica Neufville et Céline Coelho); Real estate (Benoît Boussier et Cérine Chaieb)
Private lenders advisor: Allen & Overy (Jean-Christophe David, Thomas Roy)

Management team
Amin Khiari, CEO
Legal advisor: Gomel Avocats (Arnaud Gomel)
Tax advisor: Ayache Salama (Bruno Erard)

Joint advisors
Private lenders: CIC Private Debt (Pierre-Jean Mouesca, Marie de Taisne, Maureen Planchard); Idinvest (Eric Gallerne, Maxime de Roquette Buisson, Emmanuelle Tanguy)

For further questions, please contact:

IK Investment Partners
France:
CTCom
Sibylle Descamps
+33 (0) 6 82 09 70 07
sibylle.descamps@ct-com.com

International:
Maitland
James McFarlane
+44 (0) 207 379 5151
jmcfarlane@maitland.co.uk

FTI Consulting for Quilvest Capital Partners
Anna Adlewska
+33 (0) 1 47 03 68 56
anna.adlewska@fticonsulting.com

GEDH
Emmanuelle Baruch
e.baruch@groupe-edh.com

About Groupe EDH
Founded in 1961 by Denis Huisman, and succeeded by Amin Khiari in 2014, GEDH is comprised of 5 reference schools, namely EFAP (Communication), ICART (Art and Culture Management), EFJ (Journalism), Brassart (Digital Creation), and CESINE (Design, Marketing and Communication) with 20 campuses in France and abroad.

Benefiting from a powerful network of international partners from the corporate and academic world, GEDH has developed a unique pedagogy focused on strong professional exposure and work experiences. The different schools account for more than 7,000 students and 30,000 alumni throughout the world.

About IK Investment Partners
IK Investment Partners is a Pan-European private equity firm focused on investments in the Nordics, DACH region, France, and Benelux. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €10 billion of capital and invested in over 130 European companies. IK funds support 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 Quilvest Capital Partners
Quilvest Capital Partners is the private equity arm of the Quilvest Group, a leading, global, independent wealth manager and private equity investor, which was created by a family of entrepreneurs in Paris a century ago. Since 1972, Quilvest Capital Partners partners with family owners and entrepreneurs of private small and medium sized companies in their ambitious, long-term growth projects. Over the last 40 years, Quilvest has backed over 150 mid-sized companies. Quilvest has a team of 15 investment professionals based in Paris and New York and invests equity tickets comprised between 20 and 70 million euros, through both majority and minority stakes. Quilvest Capital Partners also manages several investment programmes in private equity funds, private debt and private real estate. Quilvest Capital Partners manages around $5 billion of assets.

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Absorb Software Acquires ePath Learning, 3rdAcquisition in 2019Latest Deal Advances Global Leadership Position for Absorb in Fast-Growing LMS Market

Calgary, Alberta, Canada(December 20, 2019) –Absorb Software, provider of the Absorb Learning Management System (LMS) and the newly introduced Absorb Infuse, today announced the acquisition of ePath Learning, a leading cloud-based learning technology company in Connecticut. This marks the third acquisition of the year for Absorb, as the company continues its aggressive growth strategy into 2020. “Our mission has been clear since the beginning –to establish Absorb as the global leader in LMS and deliver significant value to our customers. Acquiring ePath Learning provides a tremendous opportunity to accelerate this vision, and represents yet another exciting opportunity to expand our footprint in the fast-growing LMS industry,” said Absorb CEO Mike Owens. “This is a great strategic fit for ePath Learning.After two decades of success, the Absorb dealenables us to continue delivering on our promise to provideworld-class learning management technology to customers,” said Dudley Molina, President and CEO of ePath Learning.The ePath Learning acquisition follows the August 2019 purchase of eLogic Learning. Absorb also purchased Utah-based SaaS LMS provider Torch LMSlast May. The company now serves more than 1,100 active customers with 255 employees across eight international offices.Business momentum has been validated by a series of recent industry accolades and award wins. Absorb was listed on Training Industry’s 2019 Top 20 Learning Portal/LMS Companies. In addition, the company received the highest overall rating in Gartner Peer Insights’“Voice of the Customer”: Corporate Learning Reportthis fall. Most recently, Absorb won a highly-coveted Brandon Hall Group Silver Award for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology, and was recognized with a prestigious Editors’ Choice Award byPCMag. Absorb is a portfolio company of Silversmith Capital Partners. Choate Hall & Stewart served as legal counsel to Absorb Software.

About Absorb Software

Absorb Software is a learning technology company based in Calgary, Alberta Canada, with global offices in London, Dublin, Shanghai, Sydney, Boston, Tampa and Salt Lake City. Absorb offers both Absorb Infuse, the first Learning Experience Platform (LXP) to offer a true in-the-flow learning experience, and its flagship product, Absorb LMS, an industry-leading and award-winning Learning Management System for businesses, higher education, government and non-profit agencies around the world.

Learn more at www.absorblms.com, or follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.About Silversmith Capital PartnersFounded in 2015, Silversmith Capital Partners is a Boston-based growth equity firm with $1.1 billion of capital under management. Silversmith’s mission is to partner with and support the best entrepreneurs in growing, profitable technology and healthcare companies. The firm seeks to invest $15 million to $75 million per company. Representative investments include ActiveCampaign, Centauri Health Solutions,

Digital Map Products, Impact, LifeStance Health, MediQuant, Nordic Consulting Partners, and Validity. The partners have over six decadesof collective investing experience and have served on the boards of numerous successful growth companies including Ability Network, Dealer.com, Liazon, Liberty Dialysis, MedHOK, Net Health, Passport Health, SurveyMonkey, Wrike and Yapstone. For more information, visit www.silversmithcapital.com.

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Instructure enters into a Definitive Agreemend to be acquired bij Thoma Bravo

Thomas Bravo

Instructure Stockholders to Receive $47.60 Per Share in Cash; Partnership will Accelerate Innovation and Investment in Long-Term Strategy

SALT LAKE CITY – Dec. 4, 2019 – Instructure (NYSE: INST) today announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, in an all-cash transaction that values Instructure at an aggregate equity value of approximately $2 billion. As part of the terms of the agreement, Instructure stockholders will receive $47.60 in cash per share. The price per share represents an 18% premium to the Company’s 3-month volume-weighted average price as of October 27, 2019, the day prior to the Company’s third quarter earnings call at which it announced a strategic review for its Bridge business.

“After a thorough review of strategic alternatives, the Instructure Board of Directors is pleased to reach this agreement,” said Josh Coates, Executive Chairman of the Board at Instructure.

The Instructure management team, led by CEO Dan Goldsmith, will continue to lead the Company in their current roles. Thoma Bravo will support Instructure as it increases investment in education technology innovation and expands internationally.

“Instructure believes the opportunity to become a private Company will provide additional flexibility and position us to invest more strategically to drive innovation for our customers,” said Goldsmith. “We look forward to working closely with all parties to complete this transaction and enter into our next chapter of growth and industry leadership.”

“Instructure’s Canvas product is the gold standard for learning management systems in the global education market,” said Holden Spaht, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo. “We are excited to partner with Dan and the senior management team to support continued investment and innovation in the Company’s market leading products and world class customer support.”

Brian Jaffee, a Principal at Thoma Bravo added, “We’ve followed the impressive Instructure growth story for many years and believe Canvas is a highly unique vertical market SaaS leader with exciting scale and future growth potential. We look forward to building on the strong momentum in the business and accelerating growth and product investment both organically and through M&A.”

The members of Instructure’s Board of Directors have unanimously approved the transaction and recommended that its stockholders approve the merger. A special meeting of Instructure’s stockholders will be held as soon as practicable following the filing of a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and subsequent mailing to its stockholders. Instructure’s headquarters will remain in Salt Lake City, Utah, with regional offices across the United States and abroad. Closing of the transaction is subject to approval by Instructure stockholders and certain regulatory and antitrust authorities and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and is not subject to a financing condition. Upon completion of the acquisition, Instructure will become wholly-owned by Thoma Bravo.

The agreement includes a 35-day “go-shop” period expiring on January 8, 2020, which permits Instructure’s Board of directors and advisors to solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties. Instructure will have the right to terminate the merger agreement to enter into a superior proposal subject to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement. There can be no assurance that this “go-shop” will result in a superior proposal, and Instructure does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation process unless and until it determines such disclosure is appropriate or is otherwise required.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to Instructure and Cooley LLP is serving as its legal advisor. Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal advisor to Thoma Bravo.

Additional Information and Where to Find It
The Company intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and furnish to its stockholders a proxy statement on Schedule 14A, as well as other relevant documents concerning the proposed transaction.  The proxy statement will contain important information about the proposed Merger and related matters.  Investors and security holders of the Company are urged to carefully read the entire proxy statement when it becomes available because it will contain important information about the proposed transactions. A definitive proxy statement will be sent to the stockholders of the Company seeking any required stockholder approvals.

Investors and security holders of the Company will be able to obtain a free copy of the proxy statement, as well as other relevant filings containing information about the Company and the proposed transaction, including materials that will be incorporated by reference into the proxy statement, without charge, at the SEC’s website (http://www.sec.gov) or from the Company by contacting the Company’s Investor Relations at (866) 574-3127, by email at Investors@instructure.com, or by going to the Company’s Investor Relations page on its website at https://ir.instructure.com/overview/default.aspx and clicking on the link titled “SEC Filings.”

Participants in the Solicitation
The Company and certain of its directors, executive officers and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed Merger.  Information regarding the interests of the Company’s directors and executive officers and their ownership of Company common stock is set forth in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 20, 2019 and the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on April 8, 2019. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests in the proposed Merger, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed Merger.  Free copies of these documents may be obtained, without charge, from the SEC or the Company as described in the preceding paragraph.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This communication contains forward-looking information related to the Company and the acquisition of the Company.  Forward-looking statements in this release include, among other things, statements about the potential benefits of the proposed transaction, the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the financial condition, results of operations and business of the Company, and the anticipated timing of closing of the proposed transaction.  Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the ability of the Company to consummate the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all, including due to complexities resulting from the adoption of new accounting pronouncements and associated system implementations; the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction; the Company’s ability to secure regulatory approvals on the terms expected in a timely manner or at all; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the negative side effects of the announcement or the consummation of the proposed transaction on the market price of the Company’s common stock or on the Company’s operating results; significant transaction costs; unknown liabilities; the risk of litigation and/or regulatory actions related to the proposed transaction; competitive factors, including competitive responses to the transaction and changes in the competitive environment, pricing changes, sales cycle time and increased competition; customer demand for the Company’s products; new application introductions and the Company’s ability to develop and deliver innovative applications and features; the Company’s ability to provide high-quality service and support offerings; the Company’s ability to build and expand its sales efforts; regulatory requirements or developments; changes in capital resource requirements; and other business effects, including the effects of industry, market, economic, political or regulatory conditions; future exchange and interest rates; changes in tax and other laws, regulations, rates and policies; and future business combinations or disposals.

Further information on these and other risk and uncertainties relating to the Company can be found in its reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K and in other filings the Company makes with the SEC from time to time and available at www.sec.gov.  These documents are available under the SEC filings heading of the Investors section of the Company’s website at https://ir.instructure.com/overview/default.aspx.

The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date hereof.  The Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

ABOUT INSTRUCTURE
Instructure helps people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work. More than 30 million people use the Canvas Learning Management Platform for schools and the Bridge Employee Development Platform for businesses. More information at www.instructure.com.

ABOUT THOMA BRAVO, LLC
Thoma Bravo is a leading private equity firm focused on the software and technology-enabled services sectors. With a series of funds representing more than $35 billion in capital commitments, Thoma Bravo partners with a Company’s management team to implement operating best practices, invest in growth initiatives and make accretive acquisitions intended to accelerate revenue and earnings, with the goal of increasing the value of the business. Representative past and present portfolio companies include industry leaders such as ABC Financial, Blue Coat Systems, Deltek, Digital Insight, Frontline Education, Global Healthcare Exchange, Hyland Software, Imprivata, iPipeline, PowerPlan, Qlik, Riverbed, SailPoint, SolarWinds, SonicWall, Sparta Systems, TravelClick and Veracode. The firm has offices in San Francisco and Chicago.

 

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Blackstone Partners with Aakash Educational, One of India’s Largest Test Prep Education Companies

Blackstone

Mumbai, October 30, 2019: Blackstone (NYSE:BX) announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have partnered with Aakash Educational Services Limited (“AESL”), to build India’s largest digitally enabled, omni-channel education company.

AESL is India’s largest medical test preparation provider with a network of more than 200 centers across 130 cities, teaching more than 250,000 students, along with a fast growing digital business. AESL was founded as Aakash Institute around three decades back by Mr. J.C. Chaudhry. AESL has demonstrated a consistent track record of results in both medical and engineering entrance examinations over the last three decades. In 2019, nine of the top ten NEET rank-holders were AESL students.

Mr. Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO of AESL, said:
“AESL has grown tremendously, emerging as one of the largest and most trusted brands in the education sector. The entire management team is excited to partner with Blackstone, a leading alternative asset manager. We believe Blackstone is a like-minded partner that shares our values and culture. As we embark on the next trajectory of growth at AESL, Blackstone will complement our team with its deep expertise and network in the education sector globally and a team of highly accomplished professionals with a proven track record of creating value. Blackstone’s value creation has been visible already, as they have helped bring Deborah Quazzo, a leading education technology investor, onto the board of the company. Given Blackstone’s unique partnership philosophy, we engaged exclusively with the Blackstone team for this transaction. This investment is a testament to the dedication of our outstanding employees who have built this company by keeping with our founder’s motto of ‘Student First’.”

Mr. JC Chaudhry, Chairman and Managing Director of AESL said:
“It is heartening to commence our partnership with the Blackstone Group, which is one of the world’s largest private equity firms. AESL has seen significant growth in the last decade, becoming one of the largest education companies in the country. By leveraging Blackstone’s global reach and expertise, this partnership will aid our push into newer areas and cutting-edge education technology, enabling us to deliver long-term value to our students, employees, investors and other stakeholders.”

Mr. Amit Dixit, Head of India Private Equity at Blackstone, said:
“We are investing in AESL since it is the most scaled up test preparation business in India with a professional management team and best-in-class corporate governance. Live tutoring, whether in physical or online classrooms, has proven to be an effective model globally for delivering consistent results in standardized tests.

AESL has been a leader in this model in India, delivering exceptional results in NEET and JEE examinations year after year. Our thesis is to accelerate AESL’s push in online live tutoring, both organically and through acquisitions. We are excited to partner with Aakash and his management team to deliver on this vision.”

Mr. Amit Jain, Managing Director at Blackstone, said:
“Unlike most other players, AESL’s mission and business model have been to take high quality test preparation education closer to the student’s home rather than the student needing to migrate for it. AESL’s 200 pan-India centers, powered with institutional academic pedagogy, enable this distributed delivery currently. We plan to supplement this strong physical network by growing AESL’s digital segment to create India’s largest omni-channel test preparation company.”

Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the sellers. S&R acted as legal advisor to sellers. E&Y, KPMG, Trilegal and Clifford Chance acted as advisors to Blackstone.

About AESL
AESL is one of the largest test preparation companies in India, preparing students from grades 8 to 12 to prepare for medical, engineering and other competitive examinations like Olympiads and NTSE.  Established in 1988 as Aakash Institute, AESL has a long history. Today, the company has more than 200 centers across 130 cities, employing over 2,200 teachers to help teach more than 250,000 students.

Further information is available at www.aakash.ac.in

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with approximately $554 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on global basis.

Blackstone has been active in India since 2006 and has committed over $13 billion of investments in India through private equity, real estate and tactical opportunities.

Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

 

Contact

Ellen Bogard
+852 9731 9726
Ellen.Bogard@Blackstone.com

Deepa Jayaraman
+91 900 877 8681
Deepa.Jay@outlook.com

Varun Soni
+91 742 879 0060
varunsoni@aesl.in

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