19 Mar 2012
Investcorp, the alternative investments specialist, announced today that it has, in partnership with its management, acquired GL Education Group (GLE), formerly Granada Learning Group, the leading UK provider of non-regulated pupil and school assessment solutions for primary and secondary schools, from Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private equity and debt capital firm focused on the information, education, media, marketing and business services industries in Europe and North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Based in London and founded in 1981, GLE provides assessment products and services used by teachers to measure students’ core abilities and to take decisions about their learning paths. The company comprises two business units, GL Assessment and GL Performance, which, together, deliver to more than 15,000 schools the tools to help raise standards in children’s education. GL Assessment provides a complete picture of a pupil’s abilities, motivations, strengths, anxieties, school-based relationships and future learning behaviours via its cognitive ability, subject/curriculum based and psychological assessment products. GL Performance supports schools in their performance management by providing services such as school self-evaluation and stakeholder surveys, data interpretation and analysis services, and other professional development support.
James Mahoney, Managing Director in Investcorp’s corporate investment team, said: “GLE commands a leading competitive position in the UK ‘high-stakes’ education assessment market. The company has built a portfolio of market leading products and benefits from high revenue visibility in a very stable market underpinned by increasing demand for assessment products and services. Rather than simply measuring attainment, GLE products enable schools to measure pupil potential and monitor their progress in the development of core skills. The products also enable them to identify specific learning impediments and disabilities. These capabilities are fundamental to higher performing schools and education systems globally.”
“GLE is one of the leading businesses in the high stakes education assessment market,” said Morgan Callagy, Partner at Veronis Suhler Stevenson. “VSS is pleased to have found Investcorp as the buyer for GLE. The business has grown profits more than threefold under VSS’s ownership. Given its leading market position in the UK, the business is poised for further growth in the UK and abroad; Investcorp are well positioned to take advantage of the future growth opportunities together with GLE.”
Adrian Eaglestone, Managing Director of GLE, said: “Investcorp has a track record of assisting its portfolio companies in reaching their potential internationally and is a highly complementary partner for us. We see significant opportunity for growth in our core markets, as well as in international markets, plus the potential to accelerate our growth through further acquisitions. This transaction provides us with a strong capital base and partner to pursue these opportunities.”