Banking & Finance and Education

Private equity firm acquires majority stake in education company

November 28, 2017
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Fusion Academy student and teacher
A Fusion Academy teacher works with a student. Photo via

A New York private equity firm has acquired a majority stake in a Grand Rapids-based education company.

Leeds Equity Partners is now the majority stakeholder of Fusion Education Group, a for-profit organization that operates a total of 43 private middle schools and high schools across the county for individualized education.

The entire management team will remain the same.

Fusion's three-member board will change to include Carter Harned and Scott VanHoy from Leeds and Pete Ruppert from Fusion.

The financial firm William Blair served as an advisor to Fusion on the deal, and K&L Gates served as legal counsel for Fusion.

Goodwin Procter served as legal counsel for Leeds Equity Partners. 

“Fusion has pioneered a unique and highly effective educational model that is only now becoming available to families and their children, as the company opens more and more schools across the country,” said Carter Harned, managing director, Leeds Equity Partners.

“We are strong believers in the efficacy of Fusion’s offering, as well as its ability to meet the vast underserved need for personalized education. We look forward to supporting Pete and his team, as the company enters its next stage of growth.”


Fusion Education Group most frequently serves students who have struggled at prior schools due to, among other factors, challenges with whole group instruction, anxiety, depression or ADHD. 

The company also serves students with non-traditional daily schedules, such as elite athletes and entertainers.


Leeds Equity Partners is focused exclusively on investing in the education, training and information services industries.

The firm has managed more than $1.5 billion of capital across six funds.

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