In a move to expand the reach of Discovery Education’s digital content to classrooms worldwide, Discovery Communications has sold majority ownership of its kids education brand to tech-focused US private equity firm Francisco Partners.
The San Francisco-based company is set to take a controlling equity stake in Discovery Education for cash consideration of US$120 million, while Discovery will retain a minority stake and license the Discovery Education brand to the business.
Expected to be finalized in the first half of 2018, the deal will see Discovery Education’s current management team—led by president and chief executive Bill Goodwyn—operate the company as a standalone business.
The agreement will allow Discovery to focus on growing its core media businesses, while still maintaining its commitment to Discovery Education through a minority stake. With the acquisition, Francisco will help Discovery Education continue to partner with administrators, teachers and students worldwide to enhance digital learning environments. The brand currently serves 4.5 million educators and more than 50 million students globally. Discovery Education’s services, including its award-winning digital Techbooks and STEM Connect streaming platform, are available in 50% of US classrooms, as well as half of all UK primary schools.
On the STEM front, Discovery has been busy of late with its consumer products division, recently launching its new Discovery #Mindblown brand featuring toys, games, apps, apparel, publishing and live events rooted in science, technology, engineering and math.