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Published in Print: April 14, 2004, as School Deals

School Deals

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These are some of the major merger-and-acquisition transactions in the pre-K- 12 education industry in 2003. The federal No Child Left Behind Act and the improving national economy are two drivers of the activity.




The acquisition of Aramark Corp.’s former child-care and early-education
programs in 28 states means Knowledge Learning Corp. is now one of the largest
providers of child-care services nationwide.
Besides acquiring private school Cedars Academy and outdoors education
provider Explorations Inc., Aspen Education Group will open the nation’s first
boarding school specifically for obese students later this year.
Liberty Partners manages the Florida Retirement System, half of whose 850,000
participants are Florida teachers and other public school employees. The
investment firm’s acquisition of Edison Schools Inc. angered many educators in
that state.
Plato Learning Inc. expanded into the elementary market by acquiring rival
Lightspan Inc. Its acquisition of New Media (Holdings) Ltd. gives the company
more sophisticated and interactive science course offerings.
Educate Inc. was formed last year when Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. spun off
its pre-K-12 units, such as its private tutoring centers (which still use the
Sylvan name) and its in-school supplemental-
services business. Sylvan Learning now focuses on for-profit higher education.

SOURCE: Eduventures Inc.;Education Week research

Vol. 23, Issue 31, Page 8

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