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Francisco Partners to Acquire Leading Legal Education Provider BARBRI

Press Releases — Mar 31, 2021



Deal Facts

North America


SAN FRANCISCO -- Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BARBRI Inc. (“BARBRI”) from Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, (“Leeds Equity”). Terms of the transaction were not announced.

BARBRI is the market leader in technology-enabled legal education, offering a comprehensive product suite across the complete legal education lifecycle. For decades, BARBRI has helped tens of thousands of test takers each year prepare for and pass the Bar exam. More recently, BARBRI has leveraged its technology platform to develop test preparation offerings in the UK with the SQE, in professional education with Paralegal and eDiscovery certification, and in legal education with pre-law bootcamps and online JD courseware.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Francisco Partners during BARBRI’s next stage of growth as we look to build upon our strong franchise within legal education and continue to execute on the significant growth opportunities ahead,” said Steve Fredette, CEO of BARBRI. “Working with a technology focused investor will further BARBRI’s plans to modernize the way legal education and training are delivered while continuing to provide our customers the highest quality experience.”

One of the nation’s most active investors in education technology, Francisco Partners’ other investments include Discovery Education, a leading provider of software and digital engagement solutions to K-12 classrooms, and Renaissance Learning, whose popular digital assessment and practice solutions are now used in more than one-third of U.S. schools.

“BARBRI’s data-driven approach to legal education allows it to deliver mission critical outcomes to students, universities, and legal professionals around the world,” said Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners. “We have long admired the company that Steve Fredette and team have built, and we look forward to leveraging our expertise and track record investing in education technology to drive future growth at BARBRI.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Kirkland and Ellis LLP served as legal advisor and Raymond James served as financial advisor to Francisco Partners.


BARBRI is a global learning company dedicated to meeting the legal education and specialized training needs of law students, attorneys and other professionals throughout their careers. BARBRI’s success is built upon its unmatched technology and innovative pedagogy, combined with the ability to harness data analytics, behavioral economics, learning science, and more to develop solutions for learners and institutions. Building on the success of its core bar courses, which have helped more than 1.3 million lawyers around the world pass a U.S. bar exam, BARBRI offers a comprehensive suite of learning solutions for higher education institutions and law-related businesses which includes U.S. bar prep, curriculum, assessment, global license preparation, online program management, and professional development. BARBRI, founded in 1967, is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with offices throughout the United States and around the world.

For more information on BARBRI, please visit

About Francisco Partners

Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 300 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With more than $25 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential.

For more information on Francisco Partners, please visit

About Leeds Equity Partners

Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training and information services industries (the "Knowledge Industries"). The firm was founded in 1993 and has managed $3.9 billion of capital across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries. Leeds Equity seeks to leverage its sector-focused expertise and market insights to create long-term value for its partner companies.

For more information on Leeds Equity, please visit