KKR's Weld North Adds to Deals in Education Sector, Buys Performance Matters

Recent targets have included University of Phoenix's parent company Apollo Education

Weld North Holdings, an education investment company, is expanding in the data and educational analytics technology market with its acquisition of Performance Matters. Weld North, backed by global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYSE: KKR), will merge the company with Truenorthlogic, which it purchased in April 2014.

With this acquisition, and combination of Winter Park, Florida-based Performance Matters and Sandy, Utah-based educator professional growth solutions company Truenorthlogic, Weld North says it is creating the first company with educator evaluation and professional development data; student achievement data; and powerful analytics capability to better understand the drivers of student outcomes. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Weld North also says this transaction is timely with President Obama’s December signing of a bill to replace the No Child Left Behind Act. “The recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act makes it imperative that state and local educational leaders understand what is working and what is not,” says Jonathan Grayer, chairman and CEO of Weld North. “In that effort, we believe that districts will increasingly use the analysis of all kinds of data to improve student outcomes. We understand this goal and know how to unlock the value of big data and critical analysis in an increasingly digital education landscape.”

Weld North’s acquisition is also on trend with recent purchases in the education market. In February, a consortium of investors acquired University of Phoenix parent company Apollo Education Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) for $1.1 billion in cash. This was preceded by Apollo Education Group Inc.’s (Nasdaq: APOL) December purchase of German education services provider Career Partner GmbH for $105 million.

Weld North, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut and led by former Kaplan CEO Jonathan Grayer. Weld North’s digital and SaaS education portfolio includes targets Edgenuity, which provides online education and blended learning solutions for students in grades 6-12; Imagine Learning, a developer of language and literacy software; and Generation Ready, which provides leader and teacher professional learning services. Earlier buys by Weld North--outside of the education sector—include its minority stake in New York-based juice maker Organic Avenue in June 2012, which the company increased in January 2013.  


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