Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, has acquired a majority stake in Pittsburgh-headquartered ed tech Carnegie Learning.

The vendor is CIP Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, which initially invested in Carnegie Learning in 2018. CIP will retain a significant ownership position in Carnegie Learning alongside some of the company’s management team. 

Carnegie Learning provides learning and coaching software, assessments, curriculum and professional learning solutions.

Barry Malkin, chief executive of Carnegie Learning, said: “We are excited to partner with MDP as we work together to support students and educators in this dynamic, rapidly evolving learning environment.

“We expect to benefit from MDP’s extensive resource network in the education technology space and expertise supporting high-growth technology companies like ourselves.

“Our ability to provide sophisticated, flexible digital solutions, and help administrators and educators ensure the success of their students, is further enhanced by adding Scientific Learning and its powerful reading platform to our suite of solutions.”

In September Carnegie Learning announced the acquisition of Scientific Learning Corporation, an online reading and language-software provider.

Matthew Norton, a managing director at Madison Dearborn Partners and head of the firm’s business and government software and services team, added: “We are delighted to support Carnegie Learning in continuing to develop technology solutions that significantly improve learning outcomes for students and provide them with the skills they need to succeed. We believe the company is well positioned for long-term growth as it continues to meet the increasing demand for online learning.”

Daniel Schwartz, a principal at CIP Capital, said: “We look forward to continuing to work with Carnegie Learning management and partnering with MDP to support additional investments in new products, services and research that will allow Carnegie Learning to build on its proven track record of serving educators and students nationwide at a time when it is needed more than ever.”

Macquarie Capital was Carnegie Learning’s financial advisor, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher provided legal counsel to Carnegie Learning. William Blair & Company was MDP’s financial advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel to MDP.

Date published: 23 October 2020

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