Chicago, IL – January 30, 2020
Frontenac, a Chicago-based private equity firm, today announced the recapitalization of XanEdu, a leading provider of custom content solutions to the Higher Ed and K–12 markets. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, XanEdu delivers innovative solutions to educators at more than 1,800 institutions to provide affordable and transformative customized learning experiences. The Company partners directly with educators to develop custom course materials and curricula to meet the needs of their students, from K–12 through upper level college courses. XanEdu’s seamless combination of access to a content library of 8 million items, a consultative approach to developing highly relevant materials, and nimble fulfillment capabilities provide materials that are more affordable, engaging and regulatory compliant. XanEdu leverages its deep industry expertise, key channel partnerships, and proprietary technology platform to solve critical pain points for educators.
“The world of education is in the midst of a massive transformation, fueled by growing educator demand for more customized content solutions," said XanEdu CEO, John DeBoer. “As the popularity of personalization grows -- and open educational resources further become mainstream -- our platform has filled a critical need for states, districts, and institutions working to create more efficient, effective, and engaging experiences for learners. This new partnership with Frontenac and the access to strategic insight and capital will be valuable in executing our ambitious growth plans in 2020 and beyond.”
“We are excited to partner with XanEdu and its senior leadership team in this next chapter for the Company," said Michael Langdon, Managing Director of Frontenac. "The team has built an impressive business delivering solutions that are highly relevant and affordable to Higher Ed institutions and K–12 customers alike. We look forward to providing additional strategic and operational resources alongside investment capital to support the realization of the Company’s growth objectives, including strategic acquisitions and partnerships.”
Joining the Board of Directors as Executive Chairman at closing is Frontenac’s CEO1ST® executive partner and 25+ year education and training veteran Ty Field, the former CFO of Thomson Higher Education (now Cengage Learning). Field also spent many years in senior roles as CEO of Jones & Bartlett, a provider of training solutions in the emergency care, safety and other healthcare content markets, and as CFO of Ascend Learning. "This announcement marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for XanEdu," said Field. “Our partnership and strategic objectives build upon on recent trends in the marketplace, and XanEdu is ideally positioned to serve as a valuable partner in the fast-growing Open Educational Resources arena. This complements the Company’s current offerings and continues its mission to provide affordable, relevant content that enhances student engagement and access."
Honigman LLP served as legal counsel to Frontenac on the transaction. Dickinson Wright PLLC served as legal counsel and East Wind Advisors acted as financial advisor to XanEdu.
Since 1999, XanEdu has helped colleges, universities, school districts, and business organizations develop and deliver engaging learning experiences that fit learners’ needs. The Company’s strength lies in its ability to tailor content to the unique needs of individual educators, academic departments, or entire institutions. XanEdu allows educators to differentiate their course materials or curriculum by curating and integrating custom content including course packs, textbooks, and curricula. For more information, please visit www.xanedu.com.
Frontenac is a leading private equity firm, based in Chicago. The firm focuses on investing in lower middle market buyout transactions in the consumer, industrial, and services industries. Frontenac works in partnership with proven operating leaders, through our executive-centric approach called CEO1ST, to identify, acquire, and build market leading companies through transformational acquisitions and operational excellence. The firm has built a leading franchise working with over 275 owners of mid-sized businesses, almost always families or founders, as they address complex transition issues of liquidity, management enhancement, and growth planning. For more information, please visit www.frontenac.com.