Image from Barbri website

San Francisco-based investment firm Francisco Partners is acquiring Dallas-based legal education provider Barbri from Leeds Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to complete before the end of June.

Barbri helps student prepare for and pass Bar exams in the US. More recently, it has offered test preparation offerings in the UK with the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, in professional education with paralegal and e-discovery certification, and in legal education with pre-law bootcamps and online Juris Doctorate courseware.

Barbri’s chief executive Steve Fredette, said: “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. Working with a technology focused investor will further Barbri’s plans to modernise the way legal education and training are delivered while continuing to provide our customers the highest quality experience.”

Jason Brein, partner at Francisco Partners, added: “Barbri’s data-driven approach to legal education allows it to deliver mission critical outcomes to students, universities, and legal professionals around the world. 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.”

Francisco Partners’ other ed tech investments include Discovery Education, a provider of software and digital engagement solutions to K12 classrooms, and Renaissance Learning which provides digital assessment and practice solutions to more than one-third of US schools.

Kirkland and Ellis was legal advisor and Raymond James was financial advisor to Francisco Partners.

Date published: 8 April 2021

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