L Squared Capital Partners has purchased Learners Edge, a higher education technology company designed for teaching kindergarten through 12th grade, from Stone-Goff Partners for an undisclosed amount.
Lakeville, Minnesota-based Learners Edge was founded in 2002 by two middle school teachers, Joe Cotter and Kyle Pederson. The target received an investment from New York-based Stone-Goff in 2013. Stone-Goff’s investment alongside the co-founders was used for “reaching more teachers and developing proprietary online content.” Learners Edge’s technology gives educators the ability to advance classroom skills at a distance, with access to more than 80 graduate-level courses. Learners Edge is currently partnered with institutions such as Marygrove College, Pacific Lutheran University, Aurora University and Wayne State College.
L Squared Capital is a private equity firm that has offices in Newport Beach, California and Chicago. The firm currently has three education companies in its investment portfolio: eInstruction, Teaching Strategies, and US Education. L Squared Capital focuses on the technology, industrial technology and education sectors.
Multiple education deals have occurred in 2016. In May, Apollo Global Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) led a $1.14 billion bid for Apollo Education Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL). Both in June, Blackboard Inc. agreed to acquire Higher One Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ONE) for $260 million in cash and Quad-C Management closed a deal to buy Rainbow Early Education Holding LLC. from Spire Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount.
George K. Baum Capital Advisors served as financial adviser to Learners Edge, and Fredrikson and Byron P.A. served as legal counsel. Avante Mezzanine Partners provided a debt and equity co-investment.