News Releases

SEPTEMBER 1, 2021

Francisco Partners Acquires Follett School Solutions


WESTCHESTER, Ill., Sept. 1, 2021Follett Corporation today announced the sale of Follett School Solutions (FSS), the company’s K-12 software and content division, to Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused global investment firm.

Follett School Solutions, based in McHenry, Ill., is a longtime trusted educational partner to K-12 schools and districts that provides software and content products, including Follett Destiny, FSS’ market-leading library management system with installations in more than 75,000 K-12 schools worldwide. FSS will join Francisco Partners’ growing portfolio of K-12 education-focused businesses and technologies, including Renaissance Learning, Discovery Education, Freckle, myON and Mystery Science.

“FSS has played a pivotal leadership role in the development of content and technology solutions for schools everywhere, and as a result of this transition to Francisco Partners, we expect the business to significantly expand its reach across education,” said Todd Litzsinger, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Follett Corporation. “On behalf of the Follett family and shareholders, I would like to thank the FSS employees, publishing partners, librarians, teachers, schools and school districts for the long and rich partnership we have enjoyed. Our family-owned company has long and deep ties to this business and a strong interest in its ongoing success, which is why we are pleased Francisco Partners will be leading and growing FSS in the years to come.”

“FSS has amassed an impressive customer base over its long and accomplished history,” said Jason Brein, Partner at Francisco Partners. “We thank the Follett family for their trust in us, and we look forward to working with Britten Follett and her team to accelerate this investment in FSS’ market leading software and content solutions.”

“While we have different owners, Follett will remain a household name for many more generations of school librarians, teachers, administrators and students,” said Britten Follett, a fifth-generation family member who assumes the title of CEO of FSS Content. “And our purpose and reason for being remain the same: We are here to improve the world by inspiring learning and shaping education – with more focus on that goal than ever.”

Paul Ilse, who most recently served as CEO of Discovery Education, a Francisco Partners’ portfolio company, will become CEO of FSS Software. “We see significant opportunity for rapid growth and continued success,” said Ilse. “Britten and I will work together to ensure that our software user experience takes full advantage of our content ecosystem.”

FSS will continue to operate from its headquarters in McHenry, and all K-12 team members will transfer with the sale to Francisco Partners. 

Terms of the deal were not announced. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as sole financial advisor to Follett Corporation.

Follett Corporation continues to own and operate Follett Higher Education Group, the largest operator of college stores and a leading online retailer of campus-related products, and Baker & Taylor, a leading content and technology provider to public libraries. 

 

 

About Follett School Solutions follettlearning.com

Follett School Solutions (FSS) is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to K-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. FSS distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. FSS also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.Find Follett on Facebook, and follow on Twitter (@FollettLearning).

 

About Francisco Partners | www.franciscopartners.com
Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 300 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With more than $25 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential.

 

About Follett Corporation follett.com

Follett Corporation is one of the world's largest sources of both physical and digital academic and entertainment content, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett provides education technology, services and physical and digital content to millions of students on college and university campuses with more than 2,850 physical and eCommerce collegiate retail stores in North America. Through Baker & Taylor, Follett's reach also extends to over 5,000 libraries worldwide. 

 

###

 

Media Contacts:

 

For Follett School Solutions:

Doug Thompson | Thompson Drake Public Relations | cell: 541.419.4471 | doug@thompsondrake.com

 

For Follett Corporation:

Samantha Swick | VP, Public Relations and Campus Marketing | cell: 708.307.1099 | sswick@follett.com

 

For Francisco Partners:

Kate Sylvester | Sloane & Company | cell: 203.736.7821 | 

ksylvester@sloanepr.com

Recent News Releases

Follett Aspen Student Information System Partners with MyFlexLearning

September 16, 2021

MCHENRY, Ill., Sept. 16, 2021 — Follett School Solutions and Nash Consulting, LLC, today announced a partnership to integrate the Follett Aspen Student Information System with Nash Consulting’s MyFlexLearning, a flexible scheduling platform. Together, the two systems give schools the benefit of the robust Aspen master scheduler and the ability to provide flexible and personalized daily offerings for students via MyFlexLearning.Officials from both companies explained that many schools are finding they need to schedule individual student periods on a just-in-time basis – more granularly, frequently and flexible than typical class schedules. Aspen provides powerful master scheduling capabilities for schools to...
Read more

Follett Literacy Program Giveaway Provides Students Chance to Win Video Conference Visit with Author Who Inspired International Dot Day

September 15, 2021

MCHENRY, Ill., Sept. 15, 2021 — Children’s author Peter H. Reynolds, who is in the spotlight today with the global celebration of International Dot Day, will soon be participating in a live video conference with one lucky classroom, thanks to the Write to Connect program from Follett School Solutions.Reynolds, author of “The Dot” that serves as the inspiration for International Dot Day, will connect with students whose classroom is randomly selected as the winner of a giveaway open now and running through Sept. 30. Write to Connect, which debuted last year, asks students to send questions to an author about his or her book....
Read more

Francisco Partners Acquires Follett School Solutions

September 1, 2021

WESTCHESTER, Ill., Sept. 1, 2021 —Follett Corporation today announced the sale of Follett School Solutions (FSS), the company’s K-12 software and content division, to Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused global investment firm.Follett School Solutions, based in McHenry, Ill., is a longtime trusted educational partner to K-12 schools and districts that provides software and content products, including Follett Destiny, FSS’ market-leading library management system with installations in more than 75,000 K-12 schools worldwide. FSS will join Francisco Partners’ growing portfolio of K-12 education-focused businesses and technologies, including Renaissance Learning, Discovery Education, Freckle, myON and Mystery Science.“FSS has played a pivotal leadership role...
Read more

Follett Promotes Linda Semmler to VP of Publisher Relations, Content, and Book Fair Merchandising

August 5, 2021

MCHENRY, IL  - Linda Semmler has been promoted to vice president of publisher relations and content & book fair merchandising for Follett School Solutions, the company announced today. With 25 years of experience, Semmler most recently served as vice president of product & merchandising for Book Fairs and eFairs for Follett.Britten Follett, executive vice president of Follett School Solutions, said Semmler’s role with the company is expanding due to the success she has had driving Follett Book Fairs, which have been growing since debuting nearly four years ago. “Our fairs are so popular with our customers due to the great products Linda...
Read more

Start Reading Now Again Partners with Follett to Help Counter ‘Summer Slide,’ Pandemic Learning Loss

May 27, 2021

Almost 3,000 students from predominantly low-income families will be receiving free print books to read over the summer as the result of a continuing charitable effort led by Start Reading Now.
Read more

Follett Releases MyDestiny — New Digital Classroom Library

April 27, 2021

Literacy solution helps create bridge between library and classroom by delivering eBooks, educator-vetted content to students
Read more

More articles and releases