Harris Williams Advises International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) on its Sale to Tailwind Capital

March 2, 2021

Harris Williams, a global investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, announces it advised International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), a portfolio company of the BERKS Group, on its sale to Tailwind Capital (Tailwind). ISSA is a pioneer in eLearning and certification for the fitness and wellness community. The transaction was led by Sam Hendler, Andy Leed and Ben de Fiebre of the Harris Williams Technology Group and Zach England and Christopher Neils of the firm’s Consumer Group.

“It was a pleasure working with the teams at ISSA and the BERKS Group,” said Sam Hendler, a managing director at Harris Williams. “Under the leadership of CEO and industry veteran Andrew Wyant, ISSA has become a leader in the fitness and wellness certification industry, and we look forward to watching the company’s continued success and growth under new ownership.”

“We are very proud of ISSA’s explosive growth while partnered with the BERKS Group’s education technology team,” said Brian Bradley, BERKS Group president. “Harris Williams recognized the quality of the company and facilitated a buyer engagement strategy that was a win for everyone.”

“We are excited to see how ISSA will continue to evolve in partnership with Tailwind over the coming years,” said Andy Leed, a director at Harris Williams. “This transaction extends our experience in the professional education sector and is further proof that best-in-class companies like ISSA will continue to command strong market interest despite uncertain economic conditions.”

“This transaction marks another successful outcome in the fitness space for Harris Williams,” said Zach England, a director at Harris Williams. “As we continue to see a growing convergence across technology and fitness, we expect there to be more transactions that will benefit from collaboration across our Consumer Group and Technology Group at Harris Williams.”

ISSA is the premier eLearning platform to the global fitness and wellness industry. Each year, ISSA educates thousands of professionals and knowledge seekers across a broad set of disciplines, including personal training, yoga, health coaching, nutrition, cycling, and strength and conditioning. For more than 30 years, ISSA has been committed to providing the highest quality certification program by merging fitness experience with practical applied sciences and building trust to help people achieve their goals. ISSA offers more than 20 specialized fitness and wellness certifications with over 8,000 established employer relationships. To date, ISSA has trained more than 300,000 students and placed personal trainers in over 140 countries, all while continuing to develop greater access to opportunities that promote a healthier world.

The BERKS Group is an investment company led by the third and fourth generations of the Bradley family. They seek to invest on a long-term basis in growth businesses. The BERKS Group’s mission is to build long-term value by partnering with exceptional management teams to achieve their strategic goals.

Tailwind is a middle market private equity firm focused on growth-oriented investments in targeted sectors within technology and business services, healthcare and industrial services. Tailwind partners with experienced management teams and entrepreneurs to transform businesses through organic growth initiatives, acquisitions, and operational and strategic investments. Since inception, Tailwind has managed $3.7 billion of committed equity capital, and has invested in 46 portfolio companies and over 125 add-on acquisitions.

Harris Williams, an investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, advocates for sellers and buyers of companies worldwide through critical milestones and provides thoughtful advice during the lives of their businesses. By collaborating as one firm across industry groups and geographies, the firm helps its clients achieve outcomes that support their objectives and strategically create value. Harris Williams is committed to execution excellence and to building enduring, valued relationships that are based on mutual trust. Harris Williams is a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

The Harris Williams Technology Group advises leading private and public companies, founders, and private equity, growth equity and venture capital firms on mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising transactions worldwide. The Technology Group has deep domain expertise in software and technology-enabled services and dedicated focus areas across a variety of vertical software applications and end markets. For more information on the Technology Group and its recent transactions, visit the Technology Group’s section of the Harris Williams website.

The Harris Williams Consumer Group has completed more than 60 transactions in recent years across a variety of verticals, including consumer services; branded consumer products; food, beverage and agribusiness; and restaurant and retail. For more information on the Harris Williams Consumer Group and other recent transactions, visit the Consumer Group’s section of the Harris Williams website.

Harris Williams LLC is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 8th Floor, 20 Farringdon Street, London EC4A 4AB, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH is registered in the commercial register of the local court of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, under HRB 107540. The registered address is Bockenheimer Landstrasse 33-35, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (email address: hwgermany@harriswilliams.com). Geschäftsführer/Directors: Jeffery H. Perkins, Paul Poggi. (VAT No. DE321666994). Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC, Harris Williams & Co. Ltd and Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH conduct business.