Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Frontline Education, a leading provider of administration software purpose-built for educators in K-12, to Roper Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ROP) in an all-cash transaction that values Frontline at approximately $3.725 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
For decades, Frontline Education has earned the trust of K-12 leaders across the U.S. by providing innovative technology and best practices to empower over 10,000 education organizations, across all 50 states, to operate efficiently and effectively. The company offers solutions for human capital management, student and special programs, and business operations with powerful analytics to increase productivity and improve overall performance for K-12 administrators.
The exit follows a five-year partnership between Thoma Bravo and Frontline during which Thoma Bravo leveraged its specialized operating model and deep sector expertise to enable Frontline to drive profitable growth and expand its market leadership in the K-12 education sector. Since Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Frontline in 2017, the company has completed six highly strategic acquisitions, significantly grew its revenue, expanded its market leading product portfolio from 16 to 30 products and increased headcount by over 70% – all while bringing increased value to school districts across the U.S.
“We are deeply appreciative of Thoma Bravo’s partnership over the last five years and the countless contributions from our dedicated team members, which have allowed us to deliver an expanded portfolio of mission-critical solutions for our clients,” said Mark Gruzin, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Education. “Roper’s acquisition of Frontline Education represents the next phase of our journey, as we stay true to our culture and mission of partnering with K-12 schools in their pursuit of excellence.”
“There is a great sense of pride and accomplishment as we reflect on our partnership with Frontline,” said Holden Spaht, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo. “Over the past five years, we have worked closely with the management team to significantly grow the ARR of the company and build an integrated, market leading software and analytics platform developed specifically for the unique challenges faced by K-12 administrators and educators. We are not only very proud of Frontline’s financial success, but also its positive impact on the K-12 education system and we look forward to watching the company continue to grow and further its important mission under Roper’s ownership.”
“Thoma Bravo’s investment in Frontline is another clear example of our deep expertise across education, software and strategic M&A to accelerate growth and drive positive impacts – in this case promoting highly efficient and effective K-12 district operations,” said Brian Jaffee, a Partner at Thoma Bravo. “We’ve enjoyed our close partnership with Mark and the Frontline management team and are excited to watch the business continue to thrive with a great new partner in Roper.”
“Frontline is a terrific business with clear niche market leadership, a proven track record of strong organic and inorganic growth, excellent cash conversion, and an outstanding management team that will thrive as part of Roper,” said Neil Hunn, Roper’s President and CEO. “The acquisition of Frontline demonstrates Roper’s disciplined capital deployment strategy that focuses on identifying high-quality, market-leading technology businesses that will enhance Roper’s cash flow compounding. We are excited to welcome Frontline to the Roper family.”
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Jefferies LLC and Macquarie Capital are serving as financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal advisor to Thoma Bravo and Frontline Education. Cooley LLP is also serving as legal advisor to Frontline Education.
Frontline Education is a leading provider of school administration software, connecting solutions for human capital management, student and special programs, and business operations with powerful analytics to empower educators. Frontline partners with school systems to deliver tools, data and insights that support greater efficiency and productivity, enabling school leaders to spend more time and resources executing strategies that drive educator effectiveness, student success and district excellence.
Frontline’s broad portfolio includes solutions for proactive recruiting and hiring, absence and time management, professional growth, student information systems, special education, special programs, Medicaid reimbursement, school health management, inventory control and asset management, payroll, benefits and financial management, and analytics solutions that help district leaders tap into their data to make more informed decisions for the benefit of their students and communities. Over 10,000 clients representing millions of educators, administrators and support personnel have partnered with Frontline Education in their efforts to develop the next generation of learners.
Thoma Bravo is one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $114 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors. Leveraging the firm’s deep sector expertise and proven strategic and operational capabilities, Thoma Bravo collaborates with its portfolio companies to implement operating best practices, drive growth initiatives and make accretive acquisitions intended to accelerate revenue and earnings. Over the past 20 years, the firm has acquired or invested in more than 380 companies representing over $190 billion in enterprise value. The firm has offices in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.thomabravo.com.
Roper Technologies is a constituent of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500. Roper has a proven, long-term track record of compounding cash flow and shareholder value. The Company operates market leading businesses that design and develop vertical software and technology enabled products for a variety of defensible niche markets. Roper utilizes a disciplined, analytical, and process-driven approach to redeploy its excess free cash flow toward high-quality acquisitions. Additional information about Roper is available on the Company’s website at www.ropertech.com.