L Squared Capital Partners has sold Learners Edge, an online provider of continuing education services, to Quad-C Management.
Learners Edge is a direct-to-teacher provider of online professional development, continuing education and master’s degree programs for K-12 teachers. Teachers use the company’s products to satisfy their teacher certification requirements or to move up their salary scale within their school district through additional education.
Learner’s Edge partners with academic institutions such as Augustana College, Aurora University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Marygrove College, Pacific-Lutheran University and Lourdes University to provide degree-eligible credits to teachers. Learners Edge, led by CEO Jim Hall, was founded in 2002 by two middle-school teachers, Joe Cotter and Kyle Pederson, and is based just south of Minneapolis in Lakeville, Minnesota.
L Squared acquired Learners Edge in September 2016 from Stone Goff Partners. During its ownership term, L Squared completed two add-on acquisitions with the July 2018 buys of iteach, a Texas-based online provider of educator-focused test preparation programs; and Teaching Channel, a Minnesota-based online provider of professional development videos for K-12 teachers with more than one million registered users.
“L Squared has been a great partner for us,” said Mr. Hall. “Their valuable support and deep education experience helped us grow to serve more than 35,000 educators annually. L Squared was also instrumental in sourcing and completing two transformative acquisitions. We want to thank them for strategically positioning Learners Edge for the next phase of growth with our new partners.”
“We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished working with Jim and the management team at Learners Edge,” said Adam Kimura, a principal at L Squared. “This transaction is a testament to the tremendous impact the company has on teachers across the country and validates the hard work invested by the entire team to ensure teachers have the proper support to help students reach their educational potential.”
The sale of Learners Edge is the fourth exit for L Squared’s first fund which was raised in 2014. The other three exits were: Virtium, a California-based provider of industrial-grade solid-state memory storage products, which was acquired in July 2015 and sold in May 2019 to Court Square Capital Partners; Teaching Strategies, a Maryland-based provider of early childhood educational resources, including curriculum and web-based assessment products, which was acquired in October 2014 and sold to Summit Partners in May 2018; and Edlio, a California-based provider of community engagement services for K-12 public, private and charter schools, which was acquired in July 2016 and sold to LLR Partners in October 2018.
L Squared is headquartered in Newport Beach, California with an additional office in Chicago. In addition to Messrs. Healy and Farrero, the firm is managed by Sean Barrette, Randall Hunt and Adam Kimura, all of whom worked together at Chicago Growth Partners prior to founding L Squared in July 2014. In September 2020, L Squared closed its oversubscribed third fund, L Squared Capital Partners III LLC, with just over $500 million of capital.
Quad-C, the buyer of Learners Edge, 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. Quad-C was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Baird was the financial advisor to L Squared and the Vedder Price provided legal services.
© 2020 Private Equity Professional | December 11, 2020