Private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) will acquire the McGraw Hill Companies’ (NYSE: MHP) education unit for $2.5 billion.

Apollo will issue $250 million in senior unsecured notes with an 8.5 percent interest rate for McGraw as part of the deal.

After the education unit is sold off, McGraw Hill will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial, and focus on analytics. The company announced in September 2011 that it wanted to separate the two businesses. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Private equity firm Bain Capital was also reportedly involved in the bidding process , as well as textbook publisher Cengage Learning Inc. 

The education business distributes textbooks in 65 languages in 157 countries. It had $2.3 billion in revenue for 2011.

The deal underscores a continuing trend in education M&A. Other recent deals include the Riverside Co.’s purchase of Digital University, Houghton Mifflin’s acquisition of Webster’s and CliffsNotes and Pivotal Group’s Pan Am Education buy. 

Evercore Partners and Goldman Sachs & Co. were McGraw Hills’ financial advisers, while Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Clifford Chance provided legal counsel.

Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank and BMO Financial Group acted as Apollo’s financial advisers. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank, Nomura and BMO provided the financing for the deal. Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP and Morgan Lewis and Bockius LLP provided Apollo’s legal advice. 

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