Mergers & Acquisitions

Clearlake Capital to Acquire Discovery Education

New Investment Aims to Accelerate Growth of Discovery Education's Digital Learning Platform

Digital learning provider Discovery Education today announced it is being acquired by Clearlake Capital Group in a deal that is anticipated to help Discovery Education accelerate its growth and deliver its digital educational content to more classrooms. 

The company said in a news release that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Clearlake Capital Group, which will become the majority shareholder upon completion of the deal, with Francisco Partners retaining a minority equity stake.

Discovery Education CEO Scott Kinney will continue to lead the company along with the existing management team, according to the announcement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Discovery Education’s K–12 digital curriculum is used by 45 million students in about 100 countries and territories; its integrated learning platform delivers interactive content, video resources, and data-driven, personalized teaching tools across a variety of subjects.

Kinney said he is grateful for the support of Francisco Partners as Discovery Education has pursued its vision to empower educators and inspire students.

“We look forward to Clearlake's investment accelerating Discovery Education's efforts to acquire like-minded companies that complement our portfolio,” Kinney said in the announcement. “In addition, this new collaboration will enhance our efforts to deepen platform distribution, earn more of educators' instructional time, and win customers. We believe Discovery Education has a bright future as part of the Clearlake family of companies.”

Clearlake Managing Partner Behdad Eghbali and Managing Director James Pade said they have “long admired” Discovery Education as an innovator in digital curriculum.

“We are excited to partner with Scott, the Discovery Education leadership team, and Francisco Partners to execute on a platform strategy dedicated to supporting educators and improving student achievement,” Eghbali and Pade said in the news release. “We look forward to using our proprietary O.P.S. value creation framework to help the Company achieve further success through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions.”

O.P.S. — which stands for Operations, People, Strategy — is Clearlake’s operational improvement approach to active value enhancement, its website says. Clearlake’s portfolio includes dozens of software companies serving sectors such as healthcare, lending, foodservice, IT, and energy, among others.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, pending customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

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About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].