Everberg Capital (Everberg), a structured capital fund focused on investing primarily in the US middle market, has closed a significant preferred equity investment supporting Two Sigma Impact and BayPine’s investment in Penn Foster, a workforce education platform for middle-skilled workers.
BC partners and FS Investments among other institutional investors joined Everberg in the preferred equity investment. The transaction marks a watershed moment in Everberg’s growth and evolution and was its largest to date.
Founded in 1890 as a correspondence school, Penn Foster has evolved into a digital learning platform focused on closing the skills gap by preparing workforce-ready employees for middle-skilled careers. Penn Foster serves more than 300,000 adult learners seeking to move beyond entry-level employment, graduating more than 40,000 students each year. In “Unstuck in the Middle,” a white paper released by Penn Foster last year, the company made the case that recognising skill attainment along a spectrum could unlock economic mobility for workers employed in jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four year degree. According to the National Skills Coalition, while middle-skill jobs make up the largest portion of the US labor market, just 44 per cent of workers are currently trained to the middle-skill level. A recent study published by the nonprofit, Opportunity@Work, suggests that the estimated 71 million Americans who lack four-year degrees, but are “Skilled Through Alternative Routes” (STARs), represent an untapped pool of talent for US employers.
Scott Siegel, Managing Partner, at Everberg Capital, says: “Covid-19 is further driving the demand for self-paced remote education programs and accelerating the trend towards digital learning. We are proud to support Penn Foster as it continues to up-skill and re-skill workers, which is paramount in securing a job in this challenging labor market. Our investment in Penn Foster highlights our commitment to investing in socially responsible companies with community-focused partners. We firmly believe a healthy corporate ecosystem is built upon alignment of interests and principles of transparency, integrity, and understanding.”
Ian Blasco, Partner, at Two Sigma Impact, says: “Everberg was the ideal partner for us. They created a customised financing solution tailored to the needs of the company and then worked quickly to execute it. We look forward to partnering with them again in the near future.”
Tom O’Rourke, Managing Director, at BayPine, says: “We are pleased to partner with Scott, the Everberg team, and Two Sigma Impact to invest in Penn Foster and develop a modern, agile education platform that leverages the power of data to drive better outcomes for working learners.”