Bedford’s Unleashed Brands Acquires Tutoring Platform Sylvan Learning

Maryland-based Sylvan Learning's mission is to build academic confidence, ignite intellectual curiosity, and inspire a love for learning.

Bedford-based youth enrichment platform Unleashed Brands has made a strategic investment to acquire Maryland-based Sylvan Learning, a leading provider of supplemental and enrichment education for K-12 students that has more than 500 franchised locations.

Unleashed Brands said that it provides safe, fun, and enriching environments to help kids learn, play, and grow. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Sylvan Learning is the sixth strategic acquisition into the youth enrichment market for Unleashed Brands, further expanding its reach into the education segment,  said Michael Browning, founder, and CEO of Unleashed Brands.

“The addition of Sylvan Learning aligns perfectly with Unleashed Brands’ goal to provide top-notch opportunities to help kids learn, play, and grow from birth until they [leave home] and go to college or the working world,” Browning said in a statement.

Building confidence, curiosity, and a love for learning

Unleashed Brands said that Sylvan Learning’s mission is to build academic confidence, ignite intellectual curiosity, and inspire a love for learning. It said the brand blends teaching with technology to get results and has helped millions of students and families achieve new levels of academic success in its 45 years in business.

The company said that Sylvan’s tutoring approach combines top-notch teachers with SylvanSync technology on digital tablets for an engaging learning experience and is also a one-stop solution for tutoring in all subject matters, college prep, STEM, and more.

“Unleashed Brands’ mission and goals for growth align perfectly with what we’re looking to achieve for Sylvan Learning,” Sylvan Learning CEO John McAuliffe said in a statement.

Noting Unleashed Brand’s past success in growing complementary portfolio brands, McAuliffe said he’s “confident we’ll be able to do the same, reaching even more students and allowing them to achieve their goals for a brighter future.”

McAuliffe said the tutoring company looks to leverage “Unleashed Brands’ strategic resources and technology infrastructure” to reach a sider audience.

Unleashed Brands said it will serve as the parent company of Sylvan Learning, as it does for its other brands including Class 101, XP League, Premier Martial Arts, Snapology, The Little Gym, and Urban Air Adventure Park.

Unleashed Brands has faced lawsuits from franchisees

Unleashed Brands has been in the news in the past year with reports of lawsuits from franchisees. According to the Dallas Morning News, owners charged that the company was “downplaying the work needed to run youth-oriented businesses, pushing inexperienced entrepreneurs into running multiple concepts and changing company terms.”

In a notable lawsuit, an arbitrator ultimately ruled in favor of Unleashed Brands.

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