Boxwood Partners Advises Sylvan Learning On Its Acquisition By Unleashed Brands

JUPITER, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 29, 2024 / Boxwood Partners is pleased to announce the sale of Sylvan Learning, a subsidiary of Franchise Group Inc., 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.

About Boxwood Partners

Boxwood Partners, LLC is a boutique investment bank based in Jupiter, Florida with offices in Richmond, Virginia. Boxwood Partners combines a unique blend of senior-level transaction advisory, business operating experience, and proven process execution skills to give its clients a distinct advantage in the market. The firm’s extensive relationships within the global capital and buyer communities (including U.S. and international private equity groups, corporations, and lenders) and other important transaction-related service providers such as consultants, attorneys, and accountants, ensure that the firm’s clients receive the attention, service, and results they deserve. For more information about Boxwood Partners, please visit

About Sylvan Learning

With 45 years of experience and more than 500 franchised locations and 710 points of presence, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on digital tablets for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE – STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep – college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit:

About Franchise Group

Franchise Group is an owner and operator of franchised and franchisable businesses that continually looks to utilize its operating and capital allocation philosophy to generate strong cash flow for its stakeholders. Franchise Group’s business lines include Pet Supplies Plus, American Freight, The Vitamin Shoppe, Buddy’s Home Furnishings and Wag N Wash. On a combined basis, Franchise Group currently operates over 2,200 locations predominantly located in the U.S. that are either Company-run or operated pursuant to franchising agreements. For more information, please visit:

About Unleashed Brands

Unleashed Brands currently includes portfolio brands Urban Air, SnapologyThe Little GymXP LeagueClass 101, and Premier Martial Arts and was founded to curate and grow a portfolio of the most innovative and profitable brands that help kids learn, play, and grow. Over the last 10 years, the team at Unleashed Brands has built a proven platform and know-how for scaling businesses focused on serving families. Its mission is to impact the lives of every kid by providing fun, engaging, and inspiring experiences that help them become who they are destined to be. For more information, please visit

About Seidler Equity Partners

Seidler Equity Partners and its affiliates have been investing in market-leading companies since 1992. Seidler seeks to align its capital and resources with business founders and management teams to achieve long-term growth and preserve company stewardship. For more information, visit