Eureka Equity Partners (“Eureka”) today announced the sale of West Academic Publishing (“West Academic”), the leading provider of higher education learning materials for the law school market, to an affiliate of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, LLC.
Headquartered in St. Paul, MN, West Academic provides legal textbooks, casebooks, study guides and other course-related materials in both print and digital media formats for law school faculty and students in the United States. West Academic provides its products under the West Academic Publishing, Foundation Press and Gilbert imprints. Eureka, in partnership with senior management, formed West Academic in February 2013 to acquire the Law School Publishing business in a carve-out transaction from Thomson Reuters.
“It has been extremely rewarding to work with Chris Parton, West Academic’s CEO; Pam Siege Chandler, VP and Publisher; and CFO Samantha Endres, recruited during the carve-out process, to stand West Academic up as a standalone entity and capitalize on its market-leading position to bring innovation and new value to the legal education market,” said Chris Hanssens, Managing Partner of Eureka and former Director of West Academic. “From our initial agreement with Thomson Reuters, it’s been a pleasure to work so closely with Chris, Pam, Sam and the rest of the West Academic senior management team that led the growth of the business from 50 team members to more than 80 today to build the necessary infrastructure for sustainable growth, develop the go-to-market strategy for innovative new products, and define the long-term vision to continue to bring lasting value to law school faculty and their students. I am confident that the West Academic team will enjoy continued success in the future capitalizing on its deep legal expertise, unique talent for innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit that were core to our partnership that was a great success for the business, its customers and our investors.”
Chris Parton stated, “Eureka was the perfect partner for us to help navigate our divestiture from Thomson Reuters. When I think about what we had to do to carve out and stand up this business I can’t imagine it going any better than it did. We then had to collectively shift to focusing on how to transform the business and, again, I can’t imagine a better balance of Eureka’s trust in the management team while pushing us in all the right ways to ask the important questions and collaboratively get to the right answers. Eureka enabled us to make the investments in our business to bring a number of exciting new products to market, including CasebookPlus, which now enjoys hundreds of adoptions in law schools across the country, in addition to innovative models to deliver legal content to tomorrow’s legal professionals. Our team has grown tremendously as people and professionals in the last six years and will always be grateful for the experiences we gained. We are fortunate to have partnered with Eureka and look forward to what lies ahead.”
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. served as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal advisor to Eureka and West Academic.