TPG, Leonard Green prep for potential $5 bln-plus sale of Ellucian

The firms plan to kick off the process in the first quarter of 2020

TPG and Leonard Green & Partners are gearing up to sell Ellucian Software, a software provider for higher education, sources familiar with the matter told PE Hub.

The firms plan to kick off a sales process in the first quarter of 2020, the people said. TPG and Leonard Green are currently in talks with bankers, but the firms have yet to formally appoint a financial adviser, one of the sources said.

Ellucian, based in Fairfax, Virginia, provides software services to higher education institutions. Software services include application implementation, training, finance and HR, recruiting, retention and analytics, among other things.

The company produces approximately $300 million in annual Ebitda, the sources said. Ellucian could be valued at more than $5 billion in a potential sale, which would translate to an Ebitda multiple of nearly 17x on the low end, one of the sources said.

TPG and Leonard Green aren’t Ellucian’s first PE owners. The firms jointly acquired a majority stake in the company in 2015 from co-investors Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity. The deal was valued at $3.5 billion, Reuters reported at the time, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Ellucian was created in 2012 when H&F acquired SunGard’s higher education division through its portfolio company Datatel. JMI and H&F acquired Datatel from Thoma Bravo in 2009 for $570 million, according to an announcement at the time. A few years later, Datatel made an $1.8 billion acquisition of SunGard’s higher education business, an SEC filing disclosed.

Aside from Ellucian, EdTech companies have seen amplified sponsor activity as of late.

In November, VC- and PE-backed Parchment went on the block, PE Hub previously reported. In July, Warburg Pincus hired Goldman Sachs to sell Liaison International, PE Hub reported. Riverside Company, meanwhile, has focused on growing its EdTech platform, merging OmniUpdate and Destiny Solutions, PE Hub wrote in November.

TPG declined to comment. Leonard Green and Ellucian did not return PE Hub’s requests for comment.