McGraw-Hill Companies Inc's education unit is expected to draw final bids from private equity firms Bain Capital and Apollo Global Management as well as rival Cengage Learning Inc, in a deal that could fetch around $3 billion.
Cengage, the No. 2 U.S. college textbook publisher, and the two private equity firms are working on final offers for McGraw-Hill Education, one of the world's largest education company, with the bids due later in October according to people close to the deal.
It is understood, McGraw-Hill, which is running the auction as an alternative to its planned spin-off of the business, wants to get more than $3 billion and could still decide against a sale if the bids fail to meet its price expectations. Other private equity firms that submitted initial bids this summer, such as Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Providence Equity Partners, are thought to have dropped out because the asking price was too high.
McGraw-Hill Education, which had revenue of $2.3 billion and operating income of $260 million in 2011, distributes its textbooks in 65 languages across 157 countries. About 18 percent of the revenue is international, with digital-related solutions accounting for over 20 percent.
Cengage was acquired by Apax Partners LLP and OMERS Capital Partners from Thomson Reuters Corp, the parent company of Reuters News, for about $7.75 billion in cash in 2007.
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