12 June 2024

Bain Capital to acquire PowerSchool

PE firm Bain Capital will take PowerSchool Holdings private in a deal that values the education software provider at $5.6 billion. Bain Capital's offer is $22.80 per share in cash, a 37% premium to PowerSchool's closing price before rumors of the acquisition surfaced.

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PowerSchool's web-based platform helps educational institutions manage operations such as enrollment, grades, attendance, and communication with parents and students. Founded in 1997 by Greg Porter as a student information system for schools, the company was acquired by Apple in 2001 for $62 million in Apple stock. Those shares would be worth approximately $26 billion today after years of Apple's stock growth.

Five years later, Apple sold PowerSchool to Pearson, which sold it to Vista Equity Partners in 2015. Three years later, Canadian PE firm Onex Partners joined as an investor. Vista and Onex then took PowerSchool public in 2021, with the IPO on the New York Stock Exchange bringing the company an initial valuation of approximately $3.5 billion.

The acquisition by Boston-based Bain Capital, which manages approximately $185 billion in assets, reflects an uptick in private equity M&A activity this year. According to Dealogic data, US PE firms executed more than US$99.7bn worth of LBO deals in 2024, up 39% from US$71.9bn in the same period last year.