Francisco to buy majority of Discovery Education


Francisco Partners said Feb. 26 that it agreed to buy a majority of Discovery Education from Discovery Communications Inc for $120 million. Discovery will retain a minority equity interest and license the “Discovery Education” brand to the business. Discovery Education partners with administrators, teachers, students and like-minded organizations worldwide to create digital learning environments.

PRESS RELEASE

San Francisco, California and Silver Spring, Maryland – February 26, 2018 – Francisco Partners, a leading global technology-focused private equity firm, and Discovery Education, Inc., the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms around the world, announced today that Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire majority ownership of Discovery Education from Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK).

Under the terms of the agreement, Francisco Partners will acquire a controlling equity stake in Discovery Education for cash consideration of $120 million. Discovery will retain a minority equity interest and license the “Discovery Education” brand to the business.

“This transaction represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for Discovery Education to accelerate its growth with Francisco Partners, while also maintaining its longstanding partnership with the Discovery Communications family,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and Chief Executive of Discovery Education. “We are well positioned to continue investing in our market-leading products and services, and this investment allows us to further expand our reach and impact both domestically and around the world.”

Discovery Education’s current management team, led by Goodwyn, will operate the company as a standalone business upon the closing of the transaction.

“From its earliest days, education has been rooted in Discovery’s DNA and we are extremely proud of the world-class business that Bill and his team have built and the impact Discovery Education’s products and services have made in transforming student achievement,” said Bruce Campbell, Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer, Discovery Communications.  “This transaction allows Discovery to focus on driving value and growth across our core media businesses, while maintaining our strong commitment to Discovery Education and its mission to promote and inspire learning. We are excited for its next chapter with Francisco Partners.”

Discovery Education partners with administrators, teachers, students and like-minded organizations worldwide to create dynamic digital learning environments that support the success of all learners. By combining award-winning digital textbooks, or Discovery Education “Techbooks,” and best-in-class supplemental services such as Discovery Education Streaming and STEM Connect with sustained professional development resources, Discovery Education is inspiring student curiosity and empowering educators every day to reimagine teaching and learning.

“We are thrilled to partner with Bill and the entire Discovery Education team as the company embarks on its next stage of growth,” said Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners. “We are impressed by Discovery Education’s positive impact on student learning, and are excited to help support Discovery Education as it transforms teaching and learning around the globe.”

“With this additional investment, Discovery Education will continue its laser-like focus on creating and delivering the innovative services today’s educators need to prepare students for success beyond the classroom,” added Scott Kinney, President K-12 Education, Discovery Education. “In the short term, our partners will see no change in their relationship with Discovery Education. However, long term, this new relationship tremendously enhances our ability to create the next generation of digital services and initiatives for educators worldwide.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the first half of 2018.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content, professional development services and more, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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