Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

XPrep Learning Solutions

Cherry Tree Advises XPrep Learning Solutions

INDUSTRY:
Education, Technology
DESCRIPTION:
100% Digital, Subscription-Based Online Test Preparation for Professional Board Exam Solutions to Veterinary, Veterinary Technician, Optometry, and Dental Hygiene Students.

Overview:

Originally founded in 2004 by three Veterinary students, XPrep Learning Solutions serves students worldwide as a well-respected leader in the online test preparation space. The Company delivers comprehensive professional board preparation solutions to veterinary, veterinary technician, optometry, and dental hygiene students. Its owners (three practicing veterinarians and one technology executive) were balancing full-time careers outside of the XPrep business and reached the right time to explore their strategic alternatives. Specifically, XPrep ownership was seeking a partner that could lead the Company through its next stage of growth while maintaining its strong brand reputation. The Company’s market leading products and strong internal leadership made a potential strategic partnership highly attractive to multiple parties. Through a Cherry Tree-led process, XPrep was able to find a highly strategic partner in PDH Academy, a portfolio company of Eden Capital, that values its brand reputation and could support its next growth chapter.
 
“We are very excited to partner with XPrep Learning Solutions and leverage best practices to provide additional professional training to our clients,” said Mark Newcomer, CEO of PDH Academy.
 
“Partnering with PDH Academy is a great fit for XPrep. The additional resources and expertise that PDH brings to the table will be a huge benefit for our students. We will be able to provide an even higher level of product and service,” said XPrep VP of Operations Brian Jensen.
 

Cherry Tree’s Role:

Cherry Tree leveraged its education experience and network of potential strategic partners and financial partners and worked closely with the owners and management team to create a competitive sale process that resulted in a favorable outcome for shareholders, employees, and students. It was especially important to the owners that the process was focused on finding a partner that would maintain the integrity of the brand and its stellar reputation among students. Additionally, the process was swift and efficient as to not disrupt nor distract the core business operations. Cherry Tree’s advisory role included introductions and discussions with numerous potential partners in marketing the opportunity, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of the transaction.
 

About XPrep Learning Solutions:

XPrep Learning Solutions: XPrep Learning Solutions provides online test preparation solutions to veterinary, veterinary technician, optometry, and dental hygiene students. Thousands of professionals have relied on VetPrep, VetTechPrep, OptoPrep, and HygienistPrep to pass their professional board exams.

About PDH Academy:

PDH Academy: PDH Academy provides regulatory training and certification to professionals and companies in real estate, healthcare, and specialized trades. The mission of PDH Academy is to help professionals start, manage, and advance their careers.

About Eden Capital:

Eden Capital: Eden Capital is a sector-focused private equity firm backing leading management teams in education, tech, and business services companies.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

Scientific Learning

Cherry Tree Advises Scientific Learning on their Sale to Carnegie Learning

INDUSTRY:
Education Technology
DESCRIPTION:
Provider of Online, Reading and Language Learning Software Solutions for K-12
LOCATION:
Oakland, California
TRANSACTION TYPE:
100% Sale to Strategic Buyer

Overview:

In September 2020, Scientific Learning Corporation (OTC PINK:SCIL) (“Scientific Learning”), a provider of neuroscience-based online reading and language software, announced that it had been acquired by an affiliate of Carnegie Learning, Inc. (“Carnegie Learning”), a provider of educational resources and formative assessment, in an all-cash merger transaction valued at approximately $15 million. The rationale for the combination is to strengthen the education technology portfolio of both entities and to further drive forward their joint mission of improving student learning outcomes through leading-edge technology built from and validated by rigorous research.
 
Jeff Thomas, CEO of Scientific Learning, stated, “Through our combination with Carnegie Learning, we are pleased to deliver value to our shareholders while aligning our company with a highly complementary organization that approaches cutting-edge research and technology solutions for K-12 students with a like-minded mission-driven approach.
 
Scientific Learning was advised by Cherry Tree & Associates, LLC, due to our specialization in serving education technology companies.

About Scientific Learning

Scientific Learning: Scientific Learning is a leading developer and distributor of SaaS reading instructional products that enhance the processing efficiency of the brain for struggling learners. Scientific Learning’s products have been analyzed and proven effective through numerous research studies performed by marquee institutions. The Company has developed a strong core of loyal customers in K-12 schools and clinical providers located across the globe.

About Carnegie learning

Carnegie Learning: Carnegie learning is a provider of technology enabled education and formative assessment products for middle school and high school students. Carnegie’s solutions are based on scientific research at Carnegie Mellon University and deliver math, ELA, world language, computer science, and professional learning services. 

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Paradigm Education Solutions

Paradigm Education Solutions

Paradigm Education Solutions

Cherry Tree advises Paradigm Education Solutions:

“The Cherry Tree team leveraged their understanding of the education market and competitive landscape to find a great home for the Paradigm business. We are thankful to Chad Johnson and the entire team for the time, effort and care they put into managing this process on our behalf, and look forward to partnering with them again in the future”

Daniel Schwartz, Principal, CIP Capital

INDUSTRY:
Education
DESCRIPTION:
Nationwide Provider of Post-Secondary Print and Digital Learning Solutions and Courseware
LOCATION:
St. Paul, MN
TRANSACTION TYPE:
100% Sale to Strategic Buyer

Situation

In March 2018, CIP Capital acquired New Mountain Learning, a holding company that consisted of K-12 business (EMC School) and higher education business (Paradigm Education Solutions). In September 2018, CIP Capital merged New Mountain Learning with Carnegie Learning. Paradigm was subsequently spun out as a separately operated business and the decision was made to sell the business due to strategic fit.

Cherry Tree’s Personalized Solution

Cherry Tree leveraged its education experience and network of potential buyers and worked closely with the owners and management team to create a competitive sale process that resulted in a favorable outcome for themselves, the employees and the customers. It was especially important to the owners that the process be swift and without disruption to either Paradigm or Carnegie Learning. Cherry Tree’s customized process included introductions and discussions with numerous potential acquirers in marketing the opportunity, soliciting proposals, negotiating terms, supporting due diligence, and facilitating the closing of the transaction.

Outcome

The marketing process generated a broad interest from several strategic and financial partners. Paradigm was sold to Kendall Hunt Publishing Co., a proven leader in academic publishing for K-12 and Higher Education markets, who plans to leverage Paradigm’s offerings, technology platform and customer base for accelerated growth in higher education.  

About Paradigm Education Solutions

Paradigm Education Solutions is a leading provider of educational technology solutions. They prepare traditional and post-traditional students to achieve the requisite digital literacy skill and career knowledge needed to enter the workforce, reskill, upskill and succeed as professionals. With a focus on contextualized, competency-based learning, Paradigm’s digitally driven solutions are flexible and adaptive to give students the power to learn anytime, anywhere.

About Kendall Hunt Publishing

Kendall Hunt Publishing, headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, is a dynamic provider of quality educational products and services. Utilizing a collaborative, solutions-based approach, Kendall Hunt partners with educators to develop affordable content tailored to meet students’ needs. Through a combination of superior service, innovative technology applications and an exceptional content library, Kendall Hunt delivers proven results for both educators and students.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1980, it specializes in M&A transactions for both buyers and sellers of middle market companies. Additionally, it conducts private placements for attractive, entrepreneurially managed growth companies, provides strategic advisory services to CEOs and boards of directors, and prepares fairness opinions and other valuation services. For more information, visit Cherry Tree & Associates.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

Troxell

Troxell

Cherry Tree provided strategic advisory services to Troxell

About Troxell

Established in 1946 and headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Troxell is the nation’s leading end-to-end solution provider for technology and collaborative solutions in K-12 and higher ed. With 65 offices nationwide, they combine large-scale purchasing power with the high-touch, consultative approach of a local specialist. Troxell-CDI has more than 70 offices nationwide providing product knowledge and personalized customer service with on-site expertise for every area of a school.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC

FastBridge

FastBridge

FastBridge Learning

Cherry Tree advises FastBridge Learning

Transaction Description

FastBridge Learning was acquired by Illuminate Education to create the leading K-12 student performance system. FastBridge Learning is a research-driven assessment platform that transforms the way teachers measure and monitor student progress. Together, the company provides effective formative assessments and assessment platforms, data that informs instruction, and the ability for educators to build strong systems of support within their districts.

Cherry Tree’s Role

Cherry Tree was retained by FastBridge’s ownership group, including founders Dr. Ted Christ and Dr. Zoheb Borbora, CEO Terri Soutor, and the University of Minnesota, to advise them on their strategic alternatives to support their rapid growth. It was important to the owners that any outcome protect the customers, employees, and education mission of the company, while ensuring the necessary resources to fulfill their strategic plan. As the engagement was beginning the company was approached by Illuminate, an existing strategic partner backed by Insight Venture Partners. Cherry Tree advised FastBridge through a process that included meetings and strategy discussions with Illuminate, negotiating terms, supporting the due diligence process, and facilitating the closing of the transaction.

About FastBridge Learning

FastBridge Learning is the brainchild of the leading educational researchers in the country, including those from the University of Minnesota – the birthplace of CBM and CAT methodologies. FastBridge Learning believe teachers deserve the best tools to help students stay on track, and strive to transform the way teachers assess and address the learning needs of students by providing one simple solution for faster results that are proven effective. To learn more, visit www.fastbridge.org.

About Illuminate Education

Illuminate Education is a leading provider of integrated K-12 technology systems. Illuminate’s innovative tools bridge the gap between instruction, assessment, and data analytics, transforming the potential of teaching and learning. With all the data available within a single platform, teachers can assess learning and link to the right resources, while district leaders can receive a holistic view of students. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Illuminate’s team of experienced educators and technology specialists serve 12 million students across all 50 states. Illuminate Education is backed by private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, For more information on Illuminate, visit www.illuminateed.com.

About Cherry Tree & Associates

Cherry Tree & Associates, LLC is a private investment banking firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, specializing in serving entrepreneurially-managed companies. Founded in 1980, the firm provides financial advisory engagements for buyers, sellers, and companies seeking growth capital, and provides fairness opinions and other valuation services.

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.

DISCLOSURES
FINRA
SIPC