Glencoe Capital Backs American Education Group

American Education Group, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based for-profit private school operator, has raised $10 million from Glencoe Capital. AEG was formed in 2007 by Winona Capital Management and Chicago Growth Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

Glencoe Capital has closed on a $10 million equity investment in Grand Rapids, Mich.-based American Education Group, through its Glencoe Capital Michigan Opportunities Fund.

Formed in 2007, American Education Group (AEG) is building a national network of high-performing, private, pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade schools to meet the growing demand for specialized schools that better address the specific needs of students through more customized, individualized programs.

“American Education Group is growing rapidly and is an attractive investment opportunity in the specialized education sector, given rising student needs and parents’ demands for schools that provide individualized programs,” said Jason Duzan, Managing Director of Glencoe Capital’s Michigan Opportunities Fund.

AEG works with each of its portfolio schools to enhance their performance by providing capital for growth and replication, academic programming assistance, marketing and enrollment expertise and business management services and systems. AEG currently manages 13 schools in six states and is opening four more schools in the next few months.

“This investment is in keeping with our Michigan Opportunities Fund’s objective to invest in growing companies in Michigan,” said Duzan. “The concept of supporting an accomplished Michigan-based management team in this innovative educational platform is exciting to us.”

A participant in the InvestMichigan! initiative established by the State in 2008, Glencoe’s Michigan Opportunities Fund represents a groundbreaking partnership between the public and private sectors, leveraging equity capital to make lead-sponsored acquisitions and growth equity investments in companies in the State of Michigan or with the prospect of expanding operations into the State. The Fund invests in companies that show the promise of future growth or where operational improvements will create additional value. Investment targets are lower middle-market companies with EBITDA in excess of $3 million and with minimum equity capital requirements of $10 million.

Glencoe Capital has prior experience in the for-profit education sector, having acquired Columbus Ga.-based Child Development Schools, Inc. in 2006 and providing capital to fund its growth. Child Development Schools (www.childcarenetwork.net) is now the fifth largest for-profit education and early childhood care provider in the United States, operating more than 160 schools and serving over 16,000 children in eight Southeastern states.

AEG was formed in 2007 in partnership with private equity investor Winona Capital Management, which continues to serve as AEG’s lead investor. AEG is building a network of nonsectarian, high-performing private college-prep schools. As the owner and manager, AEG expects to provide numerous resources to enhance the performance of each partner school, including capital for growth and expansion, academic programming assistance, business management services and marketing expertise.