Two investment firms buy Blackboard to merge it with Anthology, a company they already own

IBL News | New York

Private equity firms that currently own Anthology, Veritas Capital and Leeds Equity Partners, will acquire majority of Blackboard Inc. shares of investment firm Providence Equity Partners LLC for an undisclosed amount.

With these shares, Veritas Capital and Leeds Equity Partners will create a combined company, which will be led by Jim Milton, current Chairman and CEO of Anthology.

The combined (as yet unnamed) company, valued at approximately $3 billion including debt, will be majority-owned by Veritas Capital.

Providence Equity Partners – which bought Blackboard in 2011 for $1.64 billion – will own a minority stake in the combined company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

“Once the deal is complete, Blackboard will no longer exist as a standalone EdTech company,” wrote pundit Phil Hill on his blog.

The merger of Anthology and Blackboard will create one of the largest LMS management companies in the industry, with a workforce of 4,000 employees and more than 4,000 colleges and universities as customers.

Anthology – which is the recent gathering of Campus Management, Campus Labs and iModules – represents 2,000 higher education institutions in 30 countries.

Chalkboard Claims it currently serves 150 million users in 80 countries. For years, Blackboard was the leading provider of learning management systems (LMS) until Canvas LMS overtook it.

“After this merger, we will have a data-driven product portfolio that aims to touch every component of the institution and will aim to transform the way education uses technology to engage, connect, teach, learn and improve efficiency across the institution. “, said Milton. “We are fully aligned with a deep focus on learner success.”

“Together, Blackboard and Anthology will lead the next wave of EdTech innovation,” said Bill Ballhaus, CEO and President of Blackboard.

According to Bloomberg, the resulting company will be valued at several billion dollars. A Bloomberg reporter has learned that Blackboard is valued at $2 billion and Anthology at $1 billion.

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