Empowered Learning sold to Modern Star



Our Client – The Vendor

Empowered Learning (“EMPL”) is a long standing and market leading provider of interactive AV technologies to the education sector. It specialises in delivering a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ solution to schools seeking to integrate innovative and collaborative technology into the classroom. Over more than 14 years of operation, the Business had successfully navigated the changing learning environment to embed itself as a key supplier of AV solutions to both the public and private educational sectors. Renowned for delivering fully commissioned projects on-time with high levels of customer service and attention to detail, the Business benefited from both repeat business and referrals.

In 2019, having previously taken the business to market via another broker where a satisfactory outcome wasn’t obtained, the shareholders met with Johnsons Corporate to discuss their objectives and EMPL’s likely market value range. After analysing the financials and various discussions, Johnsons Corporate was appointed to identify suitable national and international strategic acquirers and to sell the Business.

The International Sales Strategy

For a strategic acquirer this represented an attractive opportunity, featuring strong year-on-year revenue growth, high levels of repeat business and a solid pipeline from a sizable and financially secure customer-base. With strong sales growth budgeted for FY20, the Business was well positioned to capitalise on various growth opportunities as audiovisual technologies across the education sector continued to develop.

Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on Audiovisual Technology resellers in Australia and overseas as the primary target sector. Secondary segments took into account related markets in Australia – including Unified Communications Providers, Technology Resellers, Electronic Security Providers, and Other Educational Suppliers. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 24+ qualified, interested parties. Further vetting and negotiations resulted in the selection of a preferred buyer, with Offer and Acceptance secured within 8 weeks of going to market.

(Read more about how using a Specialised Mid-Market Business Broker Approach to selling your business could get you a better outcome – just like our client).

The Strategic Trade Buyer

The acquirer – Modern Star Group – is private equity backed and Australia’s number one partner and supplier of educational resources to early childhood centres and primary schools, with a growing presence across Asia, including China, Hong Kong and Singapore. For Modern Star this represented a synergistic acquisition that complemented their growth plans and core business.

What Our Client Had to Say

"[With] Johnsons Corporate, we felt their overall approach was more suited to what we were looking for. Johnsons took the time to sit down and understand our Business and the markets we operated in. They came back with some broad market research that identified literally hundreds of companies across several related industry segments. When we went to market, this broader approach resulted in a swift response from the market... In the end, we did the deal within about 6 months of going-to-market. We were very pleased with the outcome in relation to both price and deal terms secured."

Alex Koutzoumis, Director - Empowered Learning