Eureka Sells West Academic

Eureka Equity Partners has sold West Academic Publishing, a provider of learning materials for the law school market, to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

West Academic provides legal textbooks, casebooks, study guides and other course-related materials in both print and digital media formats for law school faculty and students in the United States. The company provides its products under the West Academic Publishing, Foundation Press and Gilbert imprints. West Academic is headquartered in St. Paul, MN (www.westacademic.com).

Eureka, in partnership with the company’s senior management, formed West Academic in February 2013 to acquire the law school publishing business of Thomson Reuters. During its nearly six-year ownership term, West Academic has grown from 50 to 82 employees largely through an expansion of digital products and other advanced learning materials.

“It has been extremely rewarding to work with CEO Chris Parton, VP and Publisher Pam Siege, and CFO Samantha Endres, who were all recruited during the carve-out process, to stand West Academic up as a standalone entity and capitalize on its market-leading position to bring innovation and new value to the legal education market,” said Chris Hanssens, a managing partner of Eureka.

“Eureka was the perfect partner for us to help navigate our divestiture from Thomson Reuters,” said Mr. Parton. “When I think about what we had to do to carve out and stand up this business I can’t imagine it going any better than it did. We then had to collectively shift to focusing on how to transform the business and, again, I can’t imagine a better balance of Eureka’s trust in the management team while pushing us in all the right ways to ask the important questions and collaboratively get to the right answers.

Eureka Equity Partners makes control and non-control investments in companies with up to $100 million in revenue. Initial equity investments range from $5 million to $25 million but larger investments can be made with co-investment from the firm’s limited partners. Sectors of interest include business services, healthcare services, consumer, and specialty manufacturing. Eureka is headquartered in Philadelphia (www.eurekagrowth.com).

“Eureka enabled us to make the investments in our business to bring a number of exciting new products to market, including CasebookPlus, which now enjoys hundreds of adoptions in law schools across the country, in addition to innovative models to deliver legal content to tomorrow’s legal professionals,” added Mr. Parton. “Our team has grown tremendously as people and professionals in the last six years and will always be grateful for the experiences we gained. We are fortunate to have partnered with Eureka and look forward to what lies ahead.”

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, the buyer of West Academic, invests in middle market companies located in the United States and Europe. The firm is based in Beverly Hills with offices in Chicago, Dallas, New York, London and The Hague (www.llcp.com).

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company (www.stifel.com) was the financial advisor to Eureka and West Academic.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | January 28, 2019

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