Educational Institution Acquisitions, Mergers and Leveraged Buyouts

Our lawyers represent private equity funds, their managers, promoters and investors throughout their life cycle, from formation to final distribution of investment proceeds. We focus on control investments in, and the acquisition, operation and sale of, education-related portfolio companies by private equity funds. We provide hands-on leadership by experienced lawyers who not only understand the complexity of these transactions, but also the unique regulatory issues that can impact the investment.

Drinker Biddle’s education lawyers have served as special counsel to some of the largest private equity funds in the country for regulatory aspects of their acquisitions and sales, particularly involving federal and state regulation of educational institutions. We regularly conduct due diligence, negotiate regulatory provisions of purchase agreements, and provide regulatory and change-of-ownership guidance on transactions ranging from small private sales to buyouts valued at more than $4 billion. We also have served as special counsel to private equity funds on communications, environmental, employee benefits and tax matters.

The range of our practice areas offers significant resources to assist funds and their investors in understanding, evaluating and resolving deal issues.

Contractual Agreements

We have extensive experience working with educational institutions and third-party service providers, including entities that provide student admissions and enrollment services, marketing, financial aid administration, curriculum development, student counseling, online course delivery support and the provision of technology services.  Our lawyers work in a cross-disciplinary manner to ensure that such agreements address not only our client’s business goals, but also that they proactively account for any regulatory limitations that may apply from the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting standards or state licensing requirements.


Our lawyers have decades of experience in all types of commercial lending transactions, ranging from asset-based to cash-flow and acquisition financings. We represent both lenders and borrowers, and handle sophisticated transactions, often covering complex, multilayered intercreditor issues. Our recent lending representations have involved transactions ranging in size from $10 million to $5 billion, and encompass a full range of industries.

We have experience in assisting lenders or borrowers to negotiate, document and close transactions relating to postsecondary educational institutions. We have represented both borrowers and lenders in such transactions, and have the ability to integrate our broad understanding of lending transactions with our specific knowledge of education-related regulatory issues that can influence both the structure and outcome of such transactions.

Our firm also maintains a full-service Corporate Restructuring practice. As a result of the firm’s historic representation of creditors such as banks, finance companies and insurance companies, we have developed a fully integrated approach to workouts and restructurings, including those within the education sector.

Corporate Transactions and Financings