Rainmaker 2016 – On The Rise Image

On The Rise

Following on from our interview with Barry O’Callaghan, founder of one of the largest education publishers in the world, we look at the increasing M&A activity in the education and training space. Read the full interview – in which Barry discusses the aftermath of the economic crash and his new ventures – in Rainmaker.

"Positive market dynamics, including a decline in public funding, a growing number of adult learners and the increasing importance of education in knowledge-based economies, is encouraging both financial investors and trade to step up their levels of M&A in the education sector."


Read our latest sector comment on the higher education market, looking at how M&A in the sector shows no signs of slowing.


Clio Online is a Danish Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company which develops, publishes and markets interactive digital K-12 educational materials.

Since the company’s foundation in 2006, Clio Online has grown to become the leading Danish publisher of K-12 digital educational material, covering the entire elementary school curriculum.

Clearwater International advised Clio Online on its sale to Bonnier.

Rainmaker 2016 – On The Rise Image
Rainmaker 2016 – On The Rise Image


Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of education finance specialist HCSS Education on its sale to Access Group.

HCSS Education is an award winning education finance software business, providing practical and effective Software-as- a-Service (SaaS) solutions to schools. Consistently adding value through its extensive experience and knowledge of the education sector, the business’ objective is to ensure that schools, academies and local authorities have the tools, support and guidance to ensure effective financial management. Its core financial planning products are soon to be joined by a market-leading full accounting software package which will also be delivered as SaaS.


Market leading education recruitment business Synarbor plc has been sold to Sovereign Capital Partners LLP. Clearwater International advised the company on the sale.

Synarbor, head-quartered in Sheffield, has over 20 years’ experience in placing staff in the state, independent and international education sectors. The business predominantly supplies temporary teachers, teaching assistants and support staff to its clients, which comprise primary and secondary schools (including academies), and also special educational needs schools and nurseries. The business is differentiated in the market by its unique managed service, schools collaborative approach, including added value offerings ranging from consultancy through to fully managed turnaround services. The business engages with approximately 2,000 clients.

Rainmaker 2016 – On The Rise Image