Education Industry News

Published March 1, 2002

A sampling of education industry news from The Education Economy, a weekly publication of the market research firm Eduventures, Inc., which conducts research on the pre-K-12, post-secondary, corporate training, and consumer markets worldwide. This copyrighted material is used by permission of Eduventures, Inc.

Education Industry Investments Recover Sharply

After six straight quarters of decline, U.S. education industry investments grew by $102 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 to a total of $160 million, up from $58 million in the third quarter, according to Eduventures, Inc. Executive VP Peter J. Stokes in The Education Economy on January 15.

At the same time, total U.S. venture capital investments fell from $6.7 billion to $6.1 billion. The net result was a sharp increase in the education industry’s share of overall venture capital investment, from only 0.9 percent in the third quarter to 2.6 percent in the fourth.

In another positive sign for the education industry, the average transaction value in the fourth quarter was $6.4 million, up 56 percent over the $4.1 million average for the third quarter. Stokes also notes Business Week gave “A” grades to only two industries in its 2002 “Outlook” issue: pharmaceuticals and education.

Chancellor Beacon Academies Serves 19,000 Students

On January 8, Chancellor Academies, Inc. and Beacon Education Management, operators of charter and private schools, announced a merger of the two companies. The new company, Chancellor Beacon Academies, Inc., serves approximately 19,000 pre-K-12 students at 81 schools, on 46 campuses, in eight states and the District of Columbia.

The company also announced it has secured $26 million in additional funding from Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs for further expansion. KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., holds a minority interest in Chancellor Beacon Academies as a result of its previous investment in Beacon Education Management.

Excelligence Learning Trims Workforce

Excelligence Learning Corporation, a developer, manufacturer, and retailer of early childhood educational products, announced on December 13, 2001, it will reduce its workforce by approximately 6 percent, or 27 employees. The reduction is part of the company’s previously announced reorganization.

Kaplan Acquires Schools and Test Help Tools

Kaplan, Inc., a provider of education services for individuals, schools, and businesses, announced on January 14 it will acquire Achieva, a company that specializes in online tools to help students in grades 6-12 improve study skills and standardized test performance.

In a separate release, Kaplan also announced it acquired Texas Careers in Texas, Thompson Institute in Pennsylvania, and Technology Education College in Ohio. Those schools will become part of Kaplan’s higher education division.

Riverdeep, Pro-Ed Ally for Special Ed Market

On December 18, 2001, Riverdeep Group plc, a developer of educational software for the K-12 market, and Pro-Ed, Inc., a publisher and reseller of special education products, announced a distribution alliance. Under the terms of the agreement, Pro-Ed will market and sell Riverdeep’s special education software products through its worldwide distribution network, and Riverdeep will distribute and sell Pro-Ed products through Riverdeep’s Web site.  

Scholastic Acquires Tom Snyder Productions

Scholastic Corporation, a children’s publishing and multimedia company, announced on December 21, 2001, it acquired Tom Snyder Productions, a division of Canadian-based Torstar Corporation that develops and publishes interactive educational software, for $9 million. Tom Snyder Productions will be part of Scholastic’s Interactive Educational Software division.

The Education Economy is read by leading education company executives, investors, academics, policy experts and education leaders around the globe. To subscribe to The Education Economy, register online at Eduventures, Inc. may be reached at 20 Park Plaza, Suite 833, Boston, MA 02116, 617/426-5622, Fax 617/426-5431.