Gridiron-Backed Colibri Group Announces Strategic Acquisition of Becker Professional Education and OnCourse Learning
Further Enhances Industry-Leading Learning Solutions Portfolio
Continues Ongoing Growth and Expansion in Partnership with Gridiron Capital
NEW CANAAN, CT, March 11, 2022 – Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”), an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Colibri Group (“Colibri”), a professional education company with leading brands that provide learning solutions to licensed professionals, has acquired Becker Professional Education (“Becker”) and OnCourse Learning. With this agreement, Colibri Group adds leading capabilities in accounting, mortgage, and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) to its portfolio of professional education services.
“This expansion of our capabilities continues to serve our mission of leading others to achieve more and thrive in their careers and enables us to work with entirely new categories of accounting and GRC while deepening our mortgage solutions for financial services firms and professionals,” said Jeff James, Chief Executive Officer of Colibri Group. “We are thrilled that Becker and OnCourse Learning, with their industry leadership and high quality education, will be joining our group of companies.”
Becker is a global leader in Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam prep and offers market-leading products in accounting continuing professional education and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) test prep. Becker has been helping candidates achieve their CPA licensure and further advance their careers for 60 years. Becker serves partners in 55 countries, including the Global 7 accounting firms and the top 100 accounting firms in the United States.
OnCourse Learning is a leading provider of regulatory and compliance education solutions for the mortgage and financial sectors. OnCourse Learning empowers financial institutions to prepare their frontlines, compliance teams, executive leadership and board of directors with comprehensive enterprise compliance, risk management and professional development education.
“These businesses support our focus around becoming the most admired professional learning company in the world, and the world-class talent at both businesses will contribute significantly to achieving this vision,” continued James.
“The addition of the Becker and OnCourse Learning brands to the Colibri portfolio opens up large addressable markets in complementary channels, with strong strategic alignment with our business model given their focus on qualifying education, continuing education and career lifecycle management for professionals in the accounting and banking industries.” Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner at Gridiron Capital added. “The new partnership represents a significant milestone in Colibri’s strategic roadmap, and we are excited to join forces with the dedicated talent at Becker and OnCourse Learning in knowledge and capability sharing as we enter the next phase of growth.”
“This is Colibri’s eleventh strategic partnership since Gridiron Capital partnered with the company in May 2019, expanding product offerings, geographic footprint, and diversified end markets served,” said Will Hausberg, Senior Managing Director at Gridiron Capital. “We greatly admire the Becker and OnCourse Learnings brands, and, as market leaders delivering non-discretionary professional training to learners through online modalities, we are tremendously excited by the long-term opportunities for these brands within the Colibri platform.”
Houlihan Lokey served as Colibri and Gridiron’s financial advisor and Finn Dixon & Herling LLP as legal counsel in the purchase of the Becker and OnCourse Learning.
About Gridiron Capital
Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry-leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. We help transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. Additional information is available on the firm’s website: www.gridironcapital.com.
Becker is the leader in the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam review industry offering a full accounting career life cycle solution from training to licensing to continuing education. Founded in 1957, Becker’s global presence includes more than 2,900 partners—including accounting firms, societies, corporations, government agencies and universities.
About OnCourse Learning
OnCourse Learning is the leading educational technology provider for governance, risk and compliance (“GRC”) licensing and webinar solutions for the banking, credit union, state banking associations (“SBA”) and mortgage industries. Founded in 2007, OnCourse Learning has delivered pre-licensing, continuing education, professional development and compliance training to financial institutions and 190,000+ mortgage professionals.
About Colibri Group
Colibri Group is building the future of professional education. Today, millions of licensed professionals start and advance their careers through the company’s online and in-person learning solutions for licensing, continuing education, test preparation and professional development. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Colibri Group provides a holistic learning experience for students and professionals to achieve more and thrive throughout their careers in real estate, financial services, teacher education, healthcare, valuation and property services, among other professions. Visit colibrigroup.com for more information. www.colibrigroup.com.
For Additional Information:
Kim Wells, Chief Marketing Officer
Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner, Gridiron Capital, LLC