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Francisco Partners to acquire legal education provider BARBRI

Francisco Partners, a global investment firm that specialises in partnering with technology businesses, is to acquire BARBRI Inc (BARBRI) from Leeds Equity Partners (Leeds Equity). Terms of the transaction have not been announced.

BARBRI is specialist in technology-enabled legal education, offering a comprehensive product suite across the complete legal education lifecycle. For decades, BARBRI has helped tens of thousands of test takers each year prepare for and pass the Bar exam. More recently, BARBRI has leveraged its technology platform to develop test preparation offerings in the UK with the SQE, in professional education with Paralegal and eDiscovery certification, and in legal education with pre-law bootcamps and online JD courseware.
“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,” says Steve Fredette, CEO of BARBRI. “Working with a technology focused investor will further BARBRI’s plans to modernize the way legal education and training are delivered while continuing to provide our customers the highest quality experience.”
One of the nation’s most active investors in education technology, Francisco Partners’ other investments include Discovery Education, a leading provider of software and digital engagement solutions to K-12 classrooms, and Renaissance Learning, whose popular digital assessment and practice solutions are now used in more than one-third of US schools.
“BARBRI’s data-driven approach to legal education allows it to deliver mission critical outcomes to students, universities, and legal professionals around the world,” says Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners. “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.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Kirkland and Ellis LLP served as legal advisor and Raymond James served as financial advisor to Francisco Partners.

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