Francisco Partners acquisition of majority ownership accelerates Discovery Education’s ability to support educators in their work to improve student achievement worldwide
Discovery Education to Receive Significant Growth Investment from Francisco Partners
San Francisco, California and Silver Spring, Maryland – Francisco Partners, a leading global technology-focused private equity firm, and Discovery Education, Inc., the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms around the world, announced today that Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire majority ownership of Discovery Education from Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK).
Under the terms of the agreement, Francisco Partners will acquire a controlling equity stake in Discovery Education for cash consideration of $120 million. Discovery will retain a minority equity interest and license the “Discovery Education” brand to the business.
“This transaction represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for Discovery Education to accelerate its growth with Francisco Partners, while also maintaining its longstanding partnership with the Discovery Communications family,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and Chief Executive of Discovery Education. “We are well positioned to continue investing in our market-leading products and services, and this investment allows us to further expand our reach and impact both domestically and around the world.”
Discovery Education’s current management team, led by Goodwyn, will operate the company as a standalone business upon the closing of the transaction.
“From its earliest days, education has been rooted in Discovery’s DNA and we are extremely proud of the world-class business that Bill and his team have built and the impact Discovery Education’s products and services have made in transforming student achievement,” said Bruce Campbell, Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer, Discovery Communications. “This transaction allows Discovery to focus on driving value and growth across our core media businesses, while maintaining our strong commitment to Discovery Education and its mission to promote and inspire learning. We are excited for its next chapter with Francisco Partners.”
Discovery Education partners with administrators, teachers, students and like-minded organizations worldwide to create dynamic digital learning environments that support the success of all learners. By combining award-winning digital textbooks, or Discovery Education “Techbooks,” and best-in-class supplemental services such as Discovery Education Streaming and STEM Connect with sustained professional development resources, Discovery Education is inspiring student curiosity and empowering educators every day to reimagine teaching and learning.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bill and the entire Discovery Education team as the company embarks on its next stage of growth,” said Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners. “We are impressed by Discovery Education’s positive impact on student learning, and are excited to help support Discovery Education as it transforms teaching and learning around the globe.”
“With this additional investment, Discovery Education will continue its laser-like focus on creating and delivering the innovative services today’s educators need to prepare students for success beyond the classroom,” added Scott Kinney, President K-12 Education, Discovery Education. “In the short term, our partners will see no change in their relationship with Discovery Education. However, long term, this new relationship tremendously enhances our ability to create the next generation of digital services and initiatives for educators worldwide.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the first half of 2018.
About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a leading global private equity firm, which specializes in investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Since its launch over 17 years ago, Francisco Partners has raised over $14 billion in committed capital and invested in more than 200 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. The firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information, please visit www.franciscopartners.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the U.K., and more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and captivates superfans around the globe with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, lifestyle, sports and kids content brands including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. Available in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery’s programming reaches 3 billion cumulative viewers, who together consume 54 billion hours of Discovery content each year. Discovery’s offering extends beyond traditional TV to all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio and Discovery Kids Play; over-the-top streaming services such as Eurosport Player; digital-first and social video from Group Nine Media; and virtual reality storytelling through Discovery VR. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.