Marlin Equity Partners has acquired CompassLearning for $31.8 million through a bankruptcy auction. CompassLearning was owned by Reader's Digest who sold the company as part of its bankruptcy. Other bidders included Vector Capital, Monitor Clipper Partners and The Gores Group. CompassLearning makes interactive teaching and education materials for schools and libraries.
Private equity firms have invested in 70 bankrupt companies since the beginning of 2008, according to the PitchBook Platform. The number of deals totaled 24 in 2008 then accelerated to 36 in 2009 - 18 in the first half of the year and 24 in the second. So far in 2010 there's been four bankruptcy investments. The automotive industry has been the top sector for these distressed investments with eight deals, followed by retail with five and home furnishings with four. Over the past two years, Sun Capital Partners has been the most active investor in bankrupt companies with five deals, followed by Gordon Brothers Group and Graham Partners with four apiece.