Sterling Partners Acquires PlattForm Advertising From Arlington Capital Partners

CHICAGO, Jan. 9, 2012 – Sterling Partners, a growth-oriented private equity firm with a long history of successful investing in the education sector, has acquired PlattForm Advertising, a leading provider of comprehensive marketing and enrollment-management services to colleges and universities. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., PlattForm is a pioneer in the field of marketing for higher education and provides a full suite of marketing services to manage and execute all aspects of a school’s marketing strategy. Through the use of rigorous data and analytics, PlattForm creates, manages and executes mission-critical marketing campaigns for both career schools and traditional colleges and universities.

Michael Platt, founder and chairman of PlattForm, is partnering with Sterling in this transaction and will retain an equity interest in the company.

“Sterling Partners is thrilled to partner with Michael and his management team to further enhance and grow the business by offering comprehensive marketing solutions to its college and university client base,” said Rick Elfman, a Sterling Partners managing director. “Today, more traditional universities need integrated marketing services as they bring programs online, and PlattForm’s innovative digital marketing expertise is uniquely suited to help them.”

“Sterling Partners has such tremendous knowledge in the education sector, which will bring value to our partnership,” said Platt, who founded PlattForm in the basement of his home 23 years ago. “We could not have found a more perfect partner and we are excited to continue to grow PlattForm together.” 

PlattForm has built a large, diverse and very loyal client base that includes public and private universities across the U.S.  

About PlattForm Advertising
Since 1989, PlattForm Advertising has set the standard of excellence in providing marketing services and enrollment solutions for colleges and universities, worldwide. The firm, headquartered in suburban Kansas City, boasts an internal staff of more than 550 industry experts. As thought leaders in post-secondary education, PlattForm Advertising has helped over 4,000 colleges and universities improve the lives of millions of individuals. Specialties include search engine marketing; interactive lead generation; online marketing; traditional media placement and creative services.

About Sterling Partners
Sterling Partners is a private equity firm with a distinct point of view on how to build great companies. Founded in 1983, Sterling has invested billions of dollars, guided by the company’s stated purpose: INSPIRED GROWTH™, which describes Sterling’s approach to buying differentiated businesses and growing them in inspired ways. Sterling focuses on investing growth capital in small and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends – education, healthcare, and business services. Sterling provides valuable support to the management teams of the companies in which the firm invests through a deep and dedicated team of operations and functional experts based in the firm’s offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Miami.

The people at Sterling believe in ideas and ideals, in people and partnerships that drive long-term success. For more information, please visit


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