VRA Partners, LLC (“VRA” or “VRA Partners”) is pleased to announce that Advanced Practice Education Associates, Inc. (“APEA”) has completed a strategic sale to Assessment Technologies Institute, LLC (“ATI”), an operating subsidiary of Ascend Learning, a portfolio company of Blackstone and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. VRA Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor to APEA. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
APEA was established in 1997 to meet the need for high-quality certification-preparation tools for new nurse practitioners. From this foundational step, APEA grew to encompass continuing education and clinical resources for experienced nurse practitioners. Co-Founders Amelie Hollier and Jeanie Doucet have focused their business on providing relatable, relevant education using the most effective learning techniques and on creating and producing innovative clinical tools and resources. APEA has equipped thousands of new nurse practitioners to pass the national certification exams and is committed to the success and professional development of nurse practitioners throughout the United States.
ATI is the leading provider of online learning programs for improving faculty effectiveness, as well as student and program outcomes in nursing schools across the country. ATI maintains a 97% client-retention rate based on providing consistently reliable delivery of high-quality assessment, remediation and educational products. As of 2021, ATI Nursing Education works with 20,000+ nurse educators, about 2,700 colleges and universities and more than 500,000 students, plus more than 1.3 million graduates. The business began in 1998 with the help of a nurse. Today, nurses remain a valued part of its staff, with a team of 230 nurse educators, as well as nearly a dozen psychometric professionals who specialize in educational products, test development and statistical methods.
On their experience with VRA, Jeanie Doucet said, “We are so pleased with everything the VRA team did for us leading us through a very unfamiliar process. They delivered exceptional advice and service. Most importantly, they found a great home for APEA. Amelie and I feel like Ascend has been the best match we could have made.”
“APEA is exactly the type of company VRA was built to help. Amelie and Jeanie have a great passion for what they do and built a company to deliver on that passion, helping numerous aspiring nurse practitioners reach their goals. As a result, APEA is a market leader with a purpose. It was clear our job was not only to deliver them an outstanding economic outcome but find a home for the business that would support that passion” said Brock Matthias, Managing Director at VRA. “It was a privilege to represent them. We look forward to seeing what the combined forces of these companies will accomplish in the future.”
VRA Partners, an independent Atlanta-based investment bank, focuses on providing M&A services to leading middle-market companies and private equity firms. VRA Partners also assists companies with raising capital for growth, acquisitions, recapitalization, going-private and management buy-out transactions, and provides fairness opinions, valuations and strategic advisory services. The professionals of VRA Partners have transaction experience across a broad range of industry sectors, including consumer and retail, business services, healthcare services and technology, industrial products and services and technology and communications. VRA Partners, LLC is a Member FINRA/SIPC. For more information, please visit our website at www.vrapartners.com.