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LLCP sells West Academic to PE-backed BARBRI Global

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has sold its portfolio company West Academic to BARBRI Global, a portfolio company of Francisco Partners.

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has sold its portfolio company West Academic to BARBRI Global, a portfolio company of Francisco Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. West Academic is a publisher of casebooks, treatises, study aids and other legal education materials for law students.

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA – January 4, 2022 — Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (“LLCP”), a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced today that it has sold its portfolio company West Academic (the “Company”) to BARBRI Global, a portfolio company of Francisco Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

West Academic is a leading publisher of casebooks, treatises, study aids and other legal education materials for law students based on the work of thousands of well-respected legal scholars. The Company’s titles range from core legal subjects to more specialized content widely adopted by law professors across the United States. The Company’s content is currently published in both print and digital media formats under three brands: West Academic Publishing, Foundation Press, and Gilbert. The Company also provides students supplemental bar review programs through AdaptiBar. West Academic was founded in 1908 and is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tannaz Chapman, Managing Director of LLCP, said, “The West Academic management team, led by Chris Parton, has built an outstanding and differentiated business through its powerful brand recognition, best-in-class editorial content and leading digital learning platform. Since we invested in 2018, the Company has experienced tremendous growth, driven both by acceleration of its direct-to-consumer and digital capabilities, as well as execution of three strategic acquisitions that expanded offerings. The investment has been very successful for LLCP, and West Academic is well-positioned to continue executing on its growth plan.”

Chris Parton, CEO of West Academic, commented, “We are grateful to LLCP for their partnership and guidance over the last three years. LLCP’s focus on value-added initiatives and their unwavering confidence in our management team allowed West Academic to scale and grow into the platform it is today.”

The sale of West Academic is LLCP’s sixth successful exit in the last year, following Best Lawyers, Caring Brands, FlexXray, Trinity Consultants and Nothing Bundt Cakes.
William Blair & Company, LLC served as the lead financial advisor to West Academic in connection with the sale, with support from Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., and Honigman LLP served as legal counsel.

About Levine Leichtman Capital Partners
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, LLC is a middle-market private equity firm with a 38-year track record of investing across various targeted sectors, including franchising, business services, education and engineered products. LLCP utilizes a differentiated Structured Private Equity investment strategy, combining debt and equity capital investments in portfolio companies. This unique structure provides a less dilutive solution for management teams and entrepreneurs, while delivering growth and income with a significantly lower risk profile.

LLCP’s global team of dedicated investment professionals is led by seven partners who have worked at LLCP for an average of 22 years. Since inception, LLCP has managed approximately $12.8 billion of institutional capital across 15 investment funds and has invested in over 90 portfolio companies. LLCP currently manages $9.1 billion of assets and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, London, Stockholm and The Hague.