Boxwood Partners is pleased to announce the sale of Sylvan Learning (“Sylvan” or “the Company”), a subsidiary of Franchise Group Inc. (“FRG”), to Unleashed Brands, a portfolio company of Seidler Equity Partners. Sylvan, with 500+ franchised locations, has been the leading provider of supplemental education for K-12 students for over 45 years.

Boxwood Partners, a leading boutique middle-market investment bank acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor to Sylvan and Franchise Group on the transaction.

The transaction was led by Brian Alas (Managing Director), Madison Day (Vice President), John Atkinson (Associate), Justin Jasper (Analyst), and Jerry Annunziata (Analyst). The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Boxwood has now completed 35+ transactions across franchising and this marks its first within the youth enrichment and childhood education sector. The rapidly expanding youth enrichment sector, including education, activities, and sport, is a growing focus for Boxwood as it continues to expand its reach within consumer services.

“Sylvan’s industry-leading brand awareness and deep connections with its students, 5,000+ schools and institutional relationships creates an embedded customer base for the broader Unleashed Brands portfolio,” said Brian Alas, Managing Director at Boxwood. “Recent investments in new modalities, including SylvanSyncTM, and other virtual offerings has Sylvan uniquely positioned for continued growth within the sector.”

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, Sylvan is an established and growing franchisor of supplemental education and tutoring services. By customizing student learning plans and offering multiple modalities across reading, literature, math and science, Sylvan efficiently offers solutions for all stages of a K-12 student. Its significant investment in digital infrastructure and technology has allowed its franchisees to cater to the needs of their students via multiple new channels including on-premises and online via both one-on-one and group sessions. The international franchise base has 500+ physical locations across 175 franchisees.

“Boxwood worked incredibly closely with our management team to ensure a successful transaction,” said John McAuliffe, CEO of Sylvan. “Their franchising expertise proved invaluable, and we appreciated how they went above and beyond throughout the process.”

“We are thrilled to have Sylvan Learning join the Unleashed Brands platform and provide its category-leading tutoring services designed to help kids catch up, keep up, and get ahead for the more than 25 million kids our franchisees serve annually. We appreciate the work the Boxwood team did to help us efficiently learn more about this great opportunity,” said Michael Browning, Jr, CEO/Founder of Unleashed Brands.

Sylvan represents the first acquisition completed by Unleashed Brands after being acquired by Seidler Equity Partners in February 2023.

“Sylvan is a unique franchisor within the youth enrichment and childhood education sector that continues to see significant growth post-COVID,” added Madison Day, Vice President of Boxwood.

Grant Thornton acted as the accounting advisor to Sylvan and Franchise Group while Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal counsel.

February 29, 2024