Leeds Equity and 95 Percent Group Partner to Support Evidence-Based Literacy
Private equity firm dedicated to the Knowledge Industries makes significant investment in a leading literacy curriculum provider for schools and districts across the U.S.
NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Leeds Equity Partners ("Leeds Equity") and 95 Percent Group (the "Company"), a best-in-class provider of whole class and intervention literacy curriculum products and services to districts and schools across the U.S., announced today that Leeds Equity has made a significant investment in the Company.
Leeds Equity has, for three decades, partnered with founders and management teams to help drive innovation and growth in leading companies across the Knowledge Industries. Leeds Equity's investment in 95 Percent Group will enable the Company to further develop its literacy curriculum as well as invest in its digital solutions, further strengthening 95 Percent Group's ability to empower educators with instructional resources and strategies proven to significantly raise reading achievement.
"We founded 95 Percent Group with the mission to help schools and school districts improve reading instructional practices and ensure success for struggling readers," said Dr. Susan L. Hall, Co-Founder of 95 Percent Group. "Leeds Equity is our choice of a financial partner for the company's next chapter because of their commitment to invest in our mission to support teachers in implementing Science of Reading practices. Leeds has an unmatched track record of building innovative companies that address high stakes challenges and deliver measurable, best-in-class outcomes."
Dr. Susan L. Hall, who co-founded the Company more than 15 years ago with her husband, David, will continue to remain significantly involved with the Company, including serving on the Board of Directors. Brad Lindaas, the Company's President since 2018, will continue in his role and take on additional responsibilities. Since its founding in 2005, 95 Percent Group has been committed to its mission of supporting teachers in raising reading achievement for all students. The Company offers curriculum, manipulatives, and proprietary assessments in Phonological Awareness and Phonics, in addition to related professional development and implementation coaching for schools and districts. As an early proponent of principles reflected in the Science of Reading, 95 Percent Group has remained at the forefront of evidence-based literacy methods for two decades and today offers industry-leading intervention and whole-class supplemental curriculum. The Company's client base includes state departments of education, regional offices of education, several large urban school districts, and more than 2,800 school districts and 22,000 schools across the country.
"We are honored to partner with Dr. Hall, David, Brad and the 95 Percent Group team to support the Company's mission," said Scott VanHoy, Partner at Leeds Equity Partners. "Literacy is the building block for all learning. With evidence-based tools and a structured approach to learning, the Company and its management team will continue to provide high-efficacy learning materials and services that enable districts to better serve their students."
"Given Leeds Equity's reputation as a leading investor in the Knowledge Industries and our shared desire for positive student outcomes, we knew they were the right partner for us," said Brad Lindaas. "We look forward to our next chapter as an organization with Leeds by our side."
Eric Geveda, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners, said, "95 Percent Group is a clear innovator in the crucial domain of helping students learn to read. In addition to further investing in the Company's digital capabilities, the Company will continue to update and release curriculum aligned with the Science of Reading to combat the nationwide literacy crisis and COVID-19-related learning loss."
Tyton Partners served as financial advisor and Levenfeld Pearlstein provided legal counsel to 95 Percent Group. Latham & Watkins served as legal counsel to Leeds Equity Partners.
About 95 Percent Group:
Founded in 2005, 95 Percent Group is an educational company whose mission is to help educators identify and address the needs of struggling readers. Using an approach that is aligned with Structured Literacy, the company focuses on providing educators with whole-class and small group literacy solutions as well as developing foundational knowledge about The Science of Reading to deliver evidence and research-based instructional strategies. The Company's professional development, diagnostic assessments, skill continua, and explicit instructional materials strengthen MTSS/RTI frameworks and ensure that students receive targeted intervention instruction to close skill gaps.
About Leeds Equity Partners:
Leeds Equity is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training and information and data management services industries (the "Knowledge Industries"). The firm was founded in 1993 and has managed over $4 billion of capital since inception across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries. Leeds Equity seeks to leverage its sector-focused expertise and market insights to create long-term value for its partner companies.