Eight years after it bought McGraw-Hill Education for $2.4 billion, Apollo Global Management has reached an agreement to sell the company to another private equity firm, Platinum Equity, for $4.5 billion. The proposed purchase comes about a year after MH and Cengage called off their merger following opposition from the Justice Department.
When Apollo acquired the publisher, MHE had revenue of about $2 billion; in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, company revenue was $1.58 billion and it had an operating loss of $135.3 million, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $372.9 million. Results for fiscal 2021 have not been released, but for the nine months ended December 31, 2020, revenue fell 5.4%, to $1.22 billion; still, the company posted net income of $118 million, up from a loss of $28.3 million. EBITDA in the nine months rose 6.4%, to $439.9 million.
In announcing the deal, the parties emphasized the increase in digital sales over the last eight years, which have risen from about 25% of total revenue to approximately 60% now. To get there, MHE made six digitally-focused acquisitions.
Following the completion of the acquisition, which is expected to occur this summer, MHE will continue to be led by CEO Simon Allen and his leadership team. Allen said he is looking forward to working with Platinum to accelerate MHE’s digital growth.