Leeds Equity is the pioneer in private equity investing in the Knowledge Industries.

Leeds Equity Partners Announces Sale of BARBRI to Francisco Partners

New York, USA — March 31, 2021.  Leeds Equity Partners, LLC, (“Leeds Equity”) the New York-based private equity firm focused exclusively on investing in the Knowledge Industries, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell BARBRI, Inc. (“BARBRI”) to Francisco Partners.  The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Since Leeds Equity’s acquisition of BARBRI from Thomson Reuters, BARBRI has been transformed through both strategic product investments and seven acquisitions to become the premier provider of practical legal education across the globe.  From its beginnings as just a bar review test preparation provider, BARBRI now provides a comprehensive product suite addressing the complete legal education lifecycle and importantly delivers mission-critical outcomes to law students, law schools, legal practitioners, legal support professionals, and law firms.

“Leeds Equity is proud to have partnered with BARBRI to drive innovation across the legal education sector.  In partnership with management, we executed on a shared vision of leveraging BARBRI’s 50+ year history of unrivaled learning outcomes and relationships across the legal education market to serve law schools, students and practicing legal professionals with new and innovative educational offerings on a global basis,” said Jeffrey T. Leeds, Managing Partner of Leeds Equity.  “We commend Steve Fredette and the BARBRI team for their strategic vision, tireless efforts and superb results.”

“When I first partnered with Leeds Equity over a decade ago, I was attracted to working closely with a firm that not only had significant capital but, most importantly, had a track record of deep immersion in the education sector and a commitment to strategically building businesses for the long term,” said Steve Fredette, CEO of BARBRI.  “With the strategic, long term partnership of Leeds Equity, we have built BARBRI into the clear global leader in legal education and workforce development and are now positioned to help millions of students and professionals succeed in law school, obtain employment and advance in the workplace.”

“This transaction represents the culmination of a significant business transformation for BARBRI that could not have been accomplished without the great insights and contributions of Steve Fredette, Mike Sims, Dan Wilson and the entire BARBRI team,” added Jacques Galante, Partner of Leeds Equity.  “The team has built an extraordinary business by investing in people, learning technology, and unrivaled products, all with a relentless focus on delivering best-in-class learning outcomes.  We wish the team continued success as they build on this strong business foundation and lead BARBRI during its next chapter of partnership with Francisco Partners.”

Centerview Partners LLC and Robert W. Baird served as financial advisors and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to Leeds Equity Partners.

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 has managed $3.9 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 partner companies.

For additional information on Leeds Equity, see www.leedsequity.com

About Francisco Partners:

Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 300 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With more than $25 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential.

For additional information on Francisco Partners, see www.franciscopartners.com


BARBRI is a global learning company dedicated to meeting the legal education and specialized training needs of law students, attorneys and other professionals throughout their careers.  BARBRI’s success is built upon its unmatched technology and innovative pedagogy, combined with the ability to harness data analytics, behavioral economics, learning science, and more to develop solutions for learners and institutions.  Building on the success of its core bar courses, which have helped more than 1.3 million lawyers around the world pass a U.S. bar exam, BARBRI offers a comprehensive suite of learning solutions for higher education institutions and law-related businesses which includes U.S. bar prep, curriculum, assessment, global license preparation, online program management, and professional development.  BARBRI, founded in 1967, is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with offices throughout the United States and around the world.

For additional information on BARBRI, see www.barbri.com

For More Information:
Jeffrey T. Leeds
Tel. 212-835-2000
Fax: 212-835-2020