HEG’s Process For Selling A Private School

Selling A Private School

Selling a school is one of the most critical financial events in an owner's life. You have invested considerable resources into building your school business, developing a solid brand with outstanding staff, and solidifying a reputation in your market. Now that you are ready to sell, you want to maximize your school's value, accomplish your exit goals, and safeguard a seamless transition.

This is where HEG comes in. Our seasoned team combines decades of experience across a wide range of private school sectors delivering customized services critical to the successful sale. The reason for our success is simple – we understand our clients' expectations and exceed them. We work with a range of online and on-ground for-profit and non-profit schools in Canada, the USA, and internationally. These range from K-12 private schools (e.g., prep, special needs, Montessori, IB), boarding high schools, ESL schools, private career colleges, and universities.

Road Map To Successfully Selling A School

We recognize that no two transactions are alike, and we deliver a customized approach to your sector needs and a road map to success. We invest the time and resources to understand your opportunity to ensure that a clear game plan is developed. From preliminary valuation advice to negotiation and closing, we leverage our transactional and advisory experience to make our clients' aspirations a reality and convert an owner's hard-earned business equity into cash and realize their objective. Our process is handled with the strictest confidentiality and minimum intrusion to the school's operation, and our veteran team manages every aspect of the transaction process, so that ownership can stay focused on their day-to-day operations. Provided below is an overview of the personalized advisory process HEG provides regarding the sale of your school:

School Sales Process
Private School Sale Process

(1). Preparation, Valuation, and Positioning

HEG holds a series of meetings with the school's ownership to get to know you and formalize the scope of our services (e.g., timelines, roles, costing, process, reporting of prospective activities). HEG will provide a checklist for related information regarding the school for the seller to provided regarding school operations and material data (e.g., facilities, educational program, HR, accreditation, ownership structure, enrolment, material contracts, financials (revenue/profits), history, inventory, tuition). HEG will review pertinent documents, complete a market analysis, and a summarization of the financial (e.g., financial statements, P&L, Balance Sheets, Inventory) to recap the school's revenue, expenses, and EBITDA for the last three fiscal years (and projections for the current year). HEG will hold an onsite assessment visit (if feasible during COVID-19) of the campus and ongoing meeting(s) with the seller as part of the preliminary assessment process. Based on the assessment of the school's financials and market benchmarks, HEG will provide a pricing analysis of the suggested transaction value for client approval.

(2). Create Customized Marketing Plan

There is an ideal buyer for every school. Moreover, there is the ideal school for every buyer. Choosing the right strategy to reach them is critical. Our team puts together a wide-ranging marketing plan, leveraging our extensive operating expertise and knowledge of the education sector. We prepare a series of approved marketing documents and data room to be shared with prospective buyers. This includes the preparation and approval of a Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) and Teaser Doc to market the school to potential buyers. We follow a proven process and safeguard sensitive, confidential information, navigating the deal discreetly and seamlessly. We utilize proven marketing strategies and global reach to present the school to the right buyers from our list, from direct contact with targeted companies, networking with other professionals, online advertising, social media, email campaigns, and more. Based on the profile analysis and suitability, HEG completes an in-depth study of transactions (merger, sale, divestiture) in the USA, Canada, and internationally for the past seven years and shortlisted profiles of potential buyers. HEG will research and contact pre-screened buyers to determine their level of interest.

(3). Target Qualified Buyers

We have built an exhaustive list of +10,000 qualified pre-screened buyers in our database seeking to purchase educational businesses in various markets and school types. These include corporate buyers seeking platforms or add-on acquisitions, high net-worth individuals, private equity firms, family offices, and other qualified investors interested in acquiring private schools. We know how to position the school in the best light possible to enhance its value. We will draw upon multiple buyers through our numerous channels to create a competitive purchasing environment for the school. The process includes HEG contacting prospective buyers regarding interest in the school's profile, making introductions, and facilitating the exchange of associated documentation. HEG will post high-level, anonymised information regarding the school on high traffic websites and HEG's online newsletter to HEG's database of buyers.

(4). Solicit and Evaluate Offers

If a buyer indicates interest, HEG provides a confidentiality agreement (NDA) to execute and provision the CIM and related information for them to make an informed decision. Only interested parties receive access to the CIM after signing an NDA. The seller will be provided a digital copy of the executed NDA and bio for each buyer. Before submitting LOI's, interested parties may wish to tour the school to see it in action and have a conference call with ownership. HEG will coordinate responses to due diligence queries from buyers, as well as monitoring and updating a secure and confidential data room. HEG updates our client on all related activities weekly. HEG will continually provide due diligence support and facilitate the exchange of information as part of the pre-offer due. As feasible, HEG will schedule onsite meetings with the buyers and the seller at the school within a short time frame.

(5). Finalize The Offer Sheet and Buyer's Due Diligence

After pre-offer due diligence, interested parties will present their official offer in the form of a Letter of Intent ("LOI"), and the negotiations commence. HEG will advise the seller of prospective buyer activity and recommend moving forward with a shortlist of the top finalist candidate buyer(s) and the final selection. Within the process, the buyer will provide proof of funds. During the due diligence process, the buyer will request, among other items, staffing, contracts, accreditation, facilities, IT, legal, tax returns, financial statements (audited, if available), and other financial reports regarding accounts receivable, expenses, revenue-generating contracts, cash assets and indebtedness of the target. We are focused on optimizing the deal terms, direct due diligence, and assist your professional team with closing the deal. The due diligence process will take anywhere from 30 to 60 days, depending on the complexity of the transaction and regulatory requirements. Our job is to make the process as painless as possible.

(6). Definitive Purchase Agreement Finalized and Transaction Closed

During the LOI due diligence stage (leading up to the definitive purchase agreement), HEG will provide information and documentation to and otherwise support the seller and their professional advisors, as required during the process leading to the completion of the transaction. This includes coordination with the seller's "team" of professional advisors, such as legal advisors, accountants, and others, as required by the seller. The definitive purchase agreement may be in the form of an 'asset' purchase or 'share' purchase (depending on the deal structure and regulatory requirements). Every state or province has its licensing regulation laws and approval process, and the closing process may require regulatory approvals before the completion of the transaction. Once the legal agreements are signed, and accreditation is dealt with, and the transaction closes, a PR plan will be put into place to update the community of the school's change in ownership.

Next Step For Selling Your School

Our personalized M&A services include preliminary market analysis, a custom-tailored marketing plan highlighting the school’s unique value-points, an introduction to pre-screened prospective buyers from our list, analysis of offers, and advice on preparing the offer sheet with the client’s professional team to complete the transaction. Our focus rests exclusively in the private school sector. We are recognized as industry experts with exhaustive knowledge and transaction experience in the private education market, successfully advising with the sale of countless private schools in the USA and Canada. Having done business for many years in every imaginable economic cycle, we provide constructive and practical strategies to achieve ownership’s financial goals.

If you would like to find out more about our M&A services and buying or selling a school or find out more about your school’s value in today’s market, please contact HEG directly at info@halladayeducationgroup.com or our toll-free, confidential number at 1.800.687.1492. We are confident that we will find the right solution for the successful sale of your school. Contact us today for our free valuation and 30-minute one-on-one consultation. You can also click on the following link for additional information on schools we work with www.buyingandsellingschools.com/schools-for-sale.