Losing control of our Society’s good name

The National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. It’s a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which is owned by… well, by no one.

There are no stockholders. There are no private equity partners. There is no family foundation running the show. In fact, with the big tax-exemption our Society enjoys — courtesy of the citizens of the United States of America — National Geographic is practically a public trust.

But last Friday, Cengage Learning announced the acquisition of National Geographic’s School Publishing Division.

Cengage Learning is jointly owned by Apax Partners, a private equity firm, and OMERS, a pension fund. Which means our Society’s good name in education now partially resides here (3rd column, 4th row)…

… and partially here (under Private Equity):

Major Investments

Corporate Shares

Suncor Energy Inc
Toronto-Dominion Bank
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan

Major Private Investments

OMERS Private Equity

Affinia Group Inc.
CBI Health Group
Cengage Learning
Constellation Software Inc.
Give and Go Prepared Foods Corp.
Golf Town
Maxxam Analytics
Nelson Education
Public Mobile

Borealis Infrastructure

Associated British Ports
Bruce Power
Ciel Satellite
Confederation Bridge
Detroit River Tunnel
Enwave Energy Corporation
Express Pipeline

Oxford Properties

TD Canada Trust Tower in Toronto
Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto
The Richmond-Adelaide Complex in Toronto
Centennial Place and Bow Valley Square in Calgary
Watermark Place in London, U.K.
50% ownership interest in
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Square One Shopping Centre and
Scarborough Town Centre in the Greater Toronto Area

Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Ontario
Southcentre Mall in Calgary
Regional shopping centres in the U.S.

OMERS Strategic Investments

ADC & HAS Airports
INKEF Capital
MMM Group
OMERS Energy/OMERS Energy Services


Dear John,
How can you protect our Society’s good name
when you keep selling it to companies
that have so many other priorities?

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.