In 2005, Huron Capital Partners recapitalized Ross Education in partnership with Paul Mitchell, one of the company’s existing shareholders who we elevated to CEO at the time of closing. Huron was introduced to Mitchell on an exclusive basis by an attorney. At the time, Ross was an undermanaged business with 12 campuses in Michigan and Georgia offering certificates only in Medical Assisting. Mitchell was looking for a partner to provide liquidity for retiring shareholders and expansion capital to reposition the company for growth. Reflecting his enthusiasm for the opportunity, Mitchell rolled over 100% of his equity proceeds back into the transaction. Additionally, the management team was provided with significant equity incentives, giving them the opportunity to share in the upside as the business grew.
Huron has deep experience in the education sector dating back to 1994. Through prior investments in Delta Education and Career Education Corp. (investment made prior to Huron; Nasdaq: CECO), the principals had acquired eight post-secondary schools. Huron was able to establish immediate rapport and credibility with Mitchell due to our understanding of the industry, experience with prior education investments, a shared vision for Ross, and the ability to introduce executive relationships that would be beneficial in growing the business.
Working with the Ross management team, Huron created and implemented a strategic plan designed to revitalize the company and increase shareholder value:
- Revamped the company’s marketing strategies to significantly grow the student population
- Added over 50 new programs and sessions
- Opened 7 new branch locations
- Completed a strategic add-on acquisition
- Divested non-core operations and closed 4 underperforming campuses
- Invested in seasoned management talent and enhanced training programs
- Relocated/upgraded every campus and invested in systems infrastructure in order to accommodate growth
These investments translated into an enhanced student experience, positive student outcomes, and excellent growth for the company.
Huron sold the business in 2010.
Keys to Success
Huron seeks to help companies reach their full potential by combining its operational approach, capital and transaction experience with proven operating executives who have the vision, experience and commitment to grow their businesses.