Platinum Equity To Acquire McGraw Hill From Apollo Funds (APO) For $4.5 Billion

June 15, 2021 4:45 PM EDT

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Platinum Equity announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire McGraw Hill, a global leader in educational content and digital platforms, from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) for a purchase price of approximately $4.5 billion.

Founded in 1888, McGraw Hill provides outcome-focused learning solutions to millions of students globally, delivering both curated content and digital learning tools and platforms to the classrooms of approximately 250,000 higher education instructors, 13,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school districts, and a wide variety of academic institutions, professionals and companies. Its products are distributed in more than 100 countries across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India and the Middle East.

"We believe in McGraw Hill's mission to create a brighter future for learners of all ages around the world," said Platinum Equity founder and CEO Tom Gores. "The pandemic has been especially disruptive to education, and investing in innovative solutions, and digital learning tools in particular, is more important than ever. We are excited about the opportunity to put our operational and financial resources to work on behalf of students and teachers everywhere."

"McGraw Hill is a trusted brand that has been delivering best-in-class content to the education sector for more than 130 years," said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. "The company has a seasoned management team with deep industry experience. We look forward to partnering with McGraw Hill CEO Simon Allen to support the company's continued growth and innovation."

Today, McGraw Hill generates more than $1 billion a year in revenue from digital products and has grown digital as a percentage of revenue from less than 25% in 2013, at the time of the Apollo Funds' acquisition, to more than 60% today and over 80% in its Higher Education business. Since 2013, McGraw Hill completed six digitally focused acquisitions and transformed the business to drive digital growth, higher recurring revenues and margin expansion.

"The leadership and employees of McGraw Hill have demonstrated tremendous agility and innovation in transforming the company from a print-centric organization to one that today provides engaging, intuitive and effective digital products that help drive student success," said Larry Berg, Senior Partner in Private Equity at Apollo and Chairman of the Board of McGraw Hill.

"We have great admiration for McGraw Hill's management and employees around the globe and are proud to have supported the transformation of McGraw Hill into a leader in the education sector with a digital-first approach," said Apollo's Itai Wallach. "We believe McGraw Hill is very well positioned for its next phase of growth."

McGraw Hill CEO Simon Allen and his senior leadership team will continue to lead the business under Platinum's ownership.

"Our company has extraordinary strengths – the best talent, technology and content in the industry, a deeply trusted brand and an unwavering commitment to educators and students to help them thrive," said Mr. Allen. "Working with Apollo, we have transformed our business. Now, with Platinum's resources and expertise, we will be positioned to accelerate our digital growth and to continue to lead the way as a trusted education partner during a dynamic time for the industry. I look forward to working with the Platinum team to build our business in a way that will benefit our customers, our employees and our investors."

"McGraw Hill is a highly scalable enterprise with substantial opportunities for additional expansion," said Platinum Equity Managing Director Luke Myers. "We will continue investing in the company's existing educational offerings while pursuing new avenues for growth both organically and through potential strategic acquisitions."

The sale is expected to be completed this summer, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is serving as legal advisor to Platinum Equity on the acquisition of McGraw Hill and Willkie Farr is providing financing counsel to Platinum Equity on the transaction. BofA Securities is the lead underwriter for the debt financing. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to McGraw Hill and the Apollo Funds, and Macquarie Capital and BMO Capital Markets Corp. are serving as financial advisors to McGraw Hill.

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