Silver Lake’s Acquisition of Majority Stake in Weld North Education

Macquarie Capital and Centerview Partners acted as the financial advisors to Weld North and KKR in the transaction, while Latham & Watkins LLP acted as the companies’ legal advisor. Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to Silver Lake in the transaction. Simpson Thacher advised KKR in connection with the sale.

Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, announced today that it will acquire a majority stake in Weld North Education (WNE), a leading digital education technology company focused on developing digital curriculum and tools for preK-12th grade. Silver Lake’s investment will help WNE accelerate its long-term growth initiatives to serve the rapidly changing technology demands for educating preK-12 students. Jonathan Grayer, Chairman and CEO of Weld North, will continue to lead the company, which is being sold by its prior majority owner, KKR. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2010 as a partnership between Grayer and KKR, Weld North Education seeks to redefine the capability of digital learning curricula to improve student outcomes. Beginning with its acquisition of e2020 in July 2011 (later renamed Edgenuity) and further advanced with the purchase of Imagine Learning, WNE has invested substantially into both SaaS platforms to adapt to every student’s evolving learning needs. Edgenuity’s vast K-12 online curriculum, supplemental material and instructional services are deployed at nine of the top 15 school districts in the U.S. Imagine Learning’s leading animation-driven language and literacy software improves how elementary students learn English in districts across the country.

Weld North LLC’s other platform companies, Performance Matters and The Learning House, are not included in the Silver Lake transaction.

Ropes & Gray represented Silver Lake with a team including Alfred Rose (Picture), Eric Issadore (M&A), Byung Choi (Banking & Finance) and Adam Greenwood.

Simpson Thacher advised KKR with Marni Lerner and Gary Horowitz (M&A); and Nancy Mehlman (Tax).

Involved fees earner: Alfred Rose – Ropes & Gray; Eric Issadore – Ropes & Gray; Byung Choi – Ropes & Gray; Adam Greenwood – Ropes & Gray; Marni Lerner – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Gary Horowitz – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Nancy Mehlman – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett;

Law Firms: Ropes & Gray; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett;

Clients: Silver Lake; KKR;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti