Leeds Equity and LRN Partner to Build Greater Scale and Enhance Impact in Ethics and Compliance
Major investments planned to expand innovative ethics and compliance solutions for global companies
NEW YORK, USA – December 19, 2018. Leeds Equity Partners, LLC ("Leeds Equity"), the foremost private equity firm investing exclusively in the Knowledge Industries, announced today that it has completed a significant investment in LRN Corporation ("LRN" or the "Company"). LRN is a leading provider of ethics and compliance education, learning technology, data analytics and expert advice that helps companies meet industry regulatory requirement and translate corporate values and operating principles into behavior that drives operational performance, reduces risks and creates sustainable competitive advantages. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Leeds Equity, which manages over $1.7 billion in assets, seeks to invest in leading companies in sectors across the Knowledge Industries where the firm can partner with management to drive innovation, business growth and best-in-class customer outcomes. Leeds Equity developed an in-depth knowledge of LRN and the work it does with corporations through its decades-long experience in the governance, risk and compliance and software sectors and its relationship with LRN Founder and CEO, Dov Seidman. LRN is the sixth platform investment for Leeds Equity Partners VI, L.P., Leeds Equity's most recent fund, and the fourth significant investment in the legal and compliance vertical over its last two investment funds.
"Since our founding in 1994, LRN has been pioneering an industry and been on a journey to create ever more impactful ways to help companies and their people do the right thing," said Dov Seidman. "Society continues to set higher and higher standards for companies and their people and therefore, now is the time for LRN, as the recognized leader in the industry, to make a transformational move. Backed by Leeds Equity's expertise and resources, we will grow through even greater investments in technology and further innovations in our products and services, such as mobile delivery, adaptive learning and data analytics -- enabling us to better support our client-partners in educating and engaging their employees, assessing workplace conduct, guiding the right kind of principled and profitable behavior, and demonstrating the ROI of effective ethics and compliance initiatives."
Over the past 25 years, LRN has helped more than 25 million people working for companies around the world simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and make ethical decisions, and has also helped hundreds of companies foster ethical, responsible, and inclusive cultures. LRN's comprehensive learning and analytics platform, award-winning content and localization capabilities, as well as its unrivaled subject matter expertise, address the unique needs of modern, global corporations at a time of intensifying focus and scrutiny on corporate and individual conduct -- where 'do it right' corporate cultures are an urgent imperative and command unprecedented resources from managements and boards.
“Most significantly, LRN’s over 250 uniquely talented colleagues, deeply committed to our mission of inspiring principled performance, are truly what makes this partnership with Leeds Equity possible. I’m grateful every day for this group of passionate and special individuals,” added Seidman.
"We are privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to partner with Dov and his team and to be a custodian of this remarkable and unique enterprise," said Jeffrey T. Leeds, Managing Partner of Leeds Equity. "We admire how LRN has steadfastly acted on its belief, now widely acknowledged by business leaders, that behavior and culture not only matter, but are often the difference between success and failure. Moreover, LRN's seriousness of purpose is matched by its commitment to efficacy. It is not enough to aspire; the quality of LRN's unique, cloud-based SaaS technology solutions and content drives real impact on conduct from shop floors to corporate offices to the boardroom. Our partnership and planned investments in organic growth as well as in mergers and acquisitions will seek above all to support LRN's objective of continuing to be the most valued and valuable company in the ethics and compliance sector," said Leeds.
Tim Shriver, the Chairman of Leeds Equity's Advisory Board said, "I have known Dov and Jeffrey for many years, and this partnership brings together their shared commitment to innovation in education and training and beyond. As the Chairman of Leeds Equity, I am thrilled with this opportunity to work with Dov. He has built a leading and trusted business out of a philosophy of respect, regard and inclusiveness. This is the kind of work Leeds Equity was formed to do and the kind of company Leeds Equity was founded to partner with and support. We will also be fortunate to benefit from Dov's leadership and advice on other Leeds Equity initiatives."
"Helping companies equip employees with the knowledge necessary to build a culture rooted in strong values, principles and moral behavior is an imperative that LRN is at the forefront of," added Jacques Galante, Partner at Leeds Equity. "We are thrilled to formally partner with Dov Seidman and the LRN team to continue this mission, accelerate investment in the Company's innovative learning platform, content and workflow tools and execute on LRN's strategic objectives."
Latham & Watkins served as legal counsel to Leeds Equity Partners. GCA Advisors served as financial advisor and Sidley Austin served as legal counsel to LRN.
LRN’s mission is to inspire principled performance. Since 1994, LRN has helped over 25 million people at more than 700 companies worldwide simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and make ethical decisions, and has also helped hundreds of companies foster ethical, responsible and inclusive cultures. LRN's combination of practical tools, education, and strategic advice helps companies translate their values into concrete corporate practices and leadership behaviors that create sustainable competitive advantage. In partnership with LRN, companies need not choose between living principles and maximizing profits, or between enhancing reputation and growing revenue: all are a product of principled performance. As a global company, LRN works with organizations in more than 100 countries.
For additional information on LRN, see https://www.lrn.com/
About Leeds Equity Partners:
Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training and information services industries (the "Knowledge Industries"). The firm was founded in 1993 and currently manages $1.7 billion of capital 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 portfolio companies.
For additional information on Leeds Equity Partners, see https://www.leedsequity.com/