Gridiron Acquires Colibri from Quad-C
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Gridiron Acquires Colibri from Quad-C

Gridiron Capital has acquired Colibri Group, a national provider of online learning services for professionals operating in regulated end markets, from Quad-C.

Colibri Group operates a family of brands that provide online education for qualifying licensure and continuing education to professionals in the healthcare, financial services and real estate sectors. The company also offers news, information and job opportunities alerts in its targeted sectors. The company’s products are managed by ColibriConnect, a cloud-based technology platform that connects its customers with coursework, news and information through a user-friendly dashboard.

Colibri’s brands include Elite Learning, Advance Healthcare, and Western Schools (healthcare); Securities Training Corporation and XCEL Testing Solutions (financial services); and Real Estate Express, McKissock Learning, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Superior Real Estate School, and Allied Schools (real estate). Colibri, led by CEO Mike Duran, is headquartered in St. Louis (www.colibrigroup.com).

Quad-C acquired Colibri Group (formerly McKissock LP) in August 2014. “We are proud to have partnered with Mike Duran and the Colibri team to create a unique platform in professional education,” said Tim Billings, a partner at Quad-C. “Colibri has more than tripled revenue over the last five years and is a leading provider of online education for real estate, healthcare and financial services professionals. We wish the talented team continued success in the future.”

“We are honored that Mike and the Colibri team have chosen Gridiron to be their partners for the next phase of growth,” said Kevin Jackson, managing partner at Gridiron Capital. “Colibri Group is building the future of online learning for licensed professionals on a scalable platform, and we are excited to continue to support the success of the company.”

“We are enthusiastic about our new partnership and look forward to achieving further success with Gridiron Capital,” said Mr. Duran. “The combination of the culture, systems and business model we have built with Gridiron’s experience scaling direct-to-consumer and B2B brands will help us achieve our shared strategic vision for the company. We believe there are significant expansion opportunities, both organically and through acquisitions to expand deeper within existing Colibri end markets and through entering several of the more than 100 additional end markets that have mandated professional education requirements.”

“The company’s exceptional management team and its ColibriConnect technology platform make Colibri highly scalable and efficient in managing the learning experience for professionals across many end markets,” said Will Hausberg, a managing director at Gridiron Capital. “We look forward to providing Gridiron’s financial and intellectual capital to build upon Colibri’s exceptional growth trajectory.”

Gridiron Capital invests in manufacturing, service and specialty consumer companies that have EBITDAs from $8 million to $50 million. Sectors of interest include branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial. In October 2016, Gridiron held a final closing of the firm’s third fund, Gridiron Capital Fund III LP, at the hard cap of $850 million. The firm is based in New Canaan, CT (www.gridironcapital.com).

Quad-C, the seller of Colibri Group, invests from $35 million to $125 million of equity in companies with enterprise values of $75 million to $400 million. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer, general industrial, healthcare, specialty distribution and transportation and logistics. In March 2017, Quad-C closed its latest fund, Quad-C Partners IX LP, at an oversubscribed $1.1 billion. Quad-C was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA (www.quadcmanagement.com).

Robert W. Baird & Co. (www.rwbaird.com) was the financial adviser to Quad-C and Colibri Group on this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | May 6, 2019

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