KIRKBI A/S Acquires BrainPOP, A Leading Educational Technology Platform for Kids, Educators, and Families

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KIRKBI A/S, the family-owned holding and investment company of the LEGO brand (‘KIRKBI’), and BrainPOP, a leading educational technology business (the ‘Company’), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for KIRKBI to acquire 100% ownership of BrainPOP.

BrainPOP is a trusted digital education brand grounded in research and the science of learning. It has a presence in over two thirds of U.S. school districts and an estimated reach of 25M students annually, as well as an international presence. The Company was founded in 1999 by U.S.-based former pediatrician and immunologist Avraham Kadar, M.D., who coined its mission to empower kids to shape the world around them and within them.

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BrainPOP’s core products provide short, animated movies that spark kids’ innate curiosity, build their knowledge, and make complicated and sometimes intimidating ideas simple, clear, and thought-provoking, alongside learning activities to help educators and parents build kids’ higher-order thinking and life skills. The Company is also expanding its product lines. BrainPOP recently launched its first subject-specific offering, BrainPOP Science, a new supplemental, student-driven instructional and assessment solution for middle school classrooms.

Transaction Rationale

In the next ten years, the LEGO brand has an ambitious vision to become a global force for learning through play, be it physically or digitally. KIRKBI, as the long-term family owner of the LEGO brand, intends to invest in high-growth companies within digital play and digital learning that complement the existing LEGO branded entities.

Through further investment from KIRKBI, BrainPOP will continue to support the ongoing digital transformation of K–12 education, a trend accelerated by the pandemic, and expand their reach into the direct-to-consumer market.

Transaction Highlights

  • Under the terms of the agreement, KIRKBI has acquired 100% of the equity of BrainPOP.
  • BrainPOP remains operationally independent of KIRKBI and the LEGO Group, with KIRKBI assuming full control and accountability for BrainPOP’s performance and governance.
  • BrainPOP will benefit from further investment from KIRKBI to accelerate its ambitious product roadmap and help realize its growth ambitions, as well as access to best-practice learnings from KIRKBI and the broader LEGO ecosystem.
  • Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of LEGO Brand Group, becomes Chairman of BrainPOP.
  • Founder Dr. Avraham Kadar remains on the BrainPOP board of directors and shall be invited to act as a senior advisor to the acquiring group with respect to the wider efforts within Learning Through Play.
  • Scott Kirkpatrick continues as BrainPOP’s CEO and joins the Company’s board of directors.

Avraham Kadar, M.D., Founder, BrainPOP, said: “I cannot imagine a more authentically mission-aligned partner than KIRKBI, who will ensure that BrainPOP continues to reach, delight, and educate countless kids for many years to come. At BrainPOP, we have always put kids at the center of everything we do. This unique DNA is deeply rooted in my perspective as a father, pediatrician, and scientist. I attribute much of the BrainPOP ethos to my own children, who taught me some of the most important lessons of my life. I was receptive to their thoughts and ideas, and that made all the difference. My team, in turn, was receptive to my dream, and brought it to life through a truly revolutionary multidisciplinary approach to education. At this historic moment, my gratitude for them is beyond measure. The magic we created together is our legacy and our future.”

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Chair, LEGO Brand Group, said: “BrainPOP’s values and commitment to deliver engaging learning experiences responsibly to millions of children is closely aligned with the LEGO Idea, which originated 90 years ago, and is all about enabling the development of all children through playful learning. With BrainPOP’s digital-first learning approach in the growing edtech market, KIRKBI’s strategic acquisition of the company complements the LEGO branded entities, which all help kids learn through play, digitally and physically. Under KIRKBI’s active ownership, backed by further investment, and led by CEO Scott Kirkpatrick and its nearly 300 employees, BrainPOP will continue to deliver amazing online educational experiences, renowned for pedagogical rigor and product and operational excellence.”

Scott Kirkpatrick, CEO, BrainPOP, said: “Education is going through a digital transformation in schools and at home, resulting in the growing demand for high quality, engaging digital learning experiences for kids. Joining the LEGO ecosystem will enable BrainPOP to pioneer new educational offerings and extend our reach globally. I am delighted that the Kadar family has entrusted BrainPOP to KIRKBI to accelerate our vision to be the authority that builds and measures the skills needed to thrive in tomorrow’s world.”

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