Investcorp announces the sale of GL Education

  • Mohammed Al Ardhi: a fantastic success story

  • Transaction is Investcorp’s seventh successful exit in Europe in the last twelve months

Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, today announces it has agreed the sale of GL Education to private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP), in a transaction described by Mohammed Al Ardhi, Executive Chairman of Investcorp, as a “a fantastic success story” in terms of value growth and geographic expansion.

GL Education, founded in 1981, is a leading provider of educational assessments globally. The company’s integrated suite of assessments is used to measure children’s ability, track their progress in key subjects, and diagnose underlying factors affecting learning. GL Education’s tests are used by more than three million pupils every year in British, bilingual and international schools, as well as by education ministries, providing valuable insights to students, schools and global education systems alike.

Investcorp acquired GL Education in 2012 and has overseen an extensive transformation in the company, redefining GL Education’s market by moving from a mainly paper-based product business to a digital, bundled solutions business model and driving international growth across the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Significant organic growth has been complemented by a successful acquisition strategy. GL Education acquired the international rights to the Cognitive Abilities Test in 2013, allowing it to expand its most popular assessment series into a global offering. In 2014 it acquired The Test Factory to significantly enhance its digital capabilities and in 2015 it acquired Lucid Research to expand its product offering in the area of special educational needs.

Mohammed Al Ardhi, Executive Chairman of Investcorp, said: "GL Education’s growth during Investcorp’s four years of ownership is a fantastic success story, and is testament to Investcorp’s active and multi-faceted approach to creating value in its portfolio companies. It also reflects our specific expertise within the education sector and comes after our acquisition last year of Nobel Learning. Over the course of our partnership with GL Education, we strengthened its leadership team, executed four add-on acquisitions, enhanced its digital service offerings and accelerated its international growth. We believe that GL Education is very well positioned to grow further and continue to achieve its strategic goals. We wish the team the best of luck in the future”

Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Education, said: “Throughout our partnership with Investcorp, we have accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time, none of which would have been possible without their commitment and support. This new phase in GL Education’s evolution marks another important milestone in our company’s history. Our high-quality assessments enable teachers to do the best possible job for every individual child, using highly reliable, independent insights driven by robust data, and having established a strong foothold across several overseas markets, we look forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead of us.”

Investcorp’s sale of GL Education is its seventh exit in Europe in the last twelve months, following the flotation of Asiakastieto on Nasdaq Helsinki; the sale of Denmark’s Icopal to GAF; the sale of N&W to Lone Star Funds; the ultimate full sale of Skrill Group to Optimal Payments (now renamed Paysafe Group plc); the flotation of Sophos Group plc on the London Stock Exchange and the complete exit of a minority stake in spare part distributer, Autodistribution.

Investcorp was advised on the transaction by Robert W. Baird and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

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