Apollo, Bain Capital, & Cengage May Buy McGraw-Hill Education Unit

Private Equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO), Bain Capital Partners LLC, and Cengage Learning Inc. are expected to submit their final proposals to buy the education unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), according to the report from Reuters.

McGraw-Hill Education is the world’s second largest education company by sales. According to sources, Cengage Learning Inc, together Apollo and Bain Capital, are preparing their final bid for the business unit. Cengage Learning, Inc is the second largest textbook publisher in the United States.

Apollo, Bain Capital, & Cengage May Buy McGraw-Hill Education Unit

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McGraw Hill is expecting to sell its education unit for more than $3 billion. The company initiated an auction process as an alternative for its divestiture plan for the business. The company might change its decision to sell the business, if the bids are below its expectation, according to people familiar with the issue.

Aside from Cengage, Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO), and Bain Capital, other private equity firms were interested in acquiring Mcgraw-Hill Education, including Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Providence Equity Partners. Both firms submitted initial proposals to buy the business last summer, but decided to pull out their bids because they thought the asking price was too high.

In 2011, McGraw Hill Education reported $2.3 billion in revenue and $260 million in operating income. Approximately 18 percents of its revenues are generated from its international operations, and 20 percent comes from digital-related products. The company sells textbooks in 157 countries, written in 65 languages.

JANA Partners LLC and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan, minority shareholders of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), encouraged the company to restructure its education unit more than a year ago. Since then, the company initiated management changes and streamlined its portfolio. The company also expressed its plan to divide its business into publicly-traded companies- McGraw-Hill Financial and McGraw-Hill Education. The company also increased its stock buybacks, and announced plans to cut costs by $100 million every year.

Apax Partners LLP and OMERS Capital Partners bought Cengage Learning, Inc from Thomson Reuters Corp (TO:TRI) (NYSE:TRI), the parent company of Reuters News, for approximately $7.75 billion in cash in 2007.

In a separate report, McGraw-Hill’s Platts division acquired Swiss-based analytics company, Kingsman SA. The value of the transaction is undisclosed, according to the report from the Associated Press (AP).

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP) is known for its Standard & Poor’s Rating Services and Dow Jones Indices. Shares of McGraw-Hill are up by 0.75 percent to $55.49 per share on Thursday afternoon at the New York Stock Exchange.