DC-based Blackboard, the leader in online learning solutions, announced this morning that it will be acquired by an investor group led by affiliates of Providence Equity Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.64 billion; stockholders will receive $45 in cash for each share of Blackboard common stock.
This process began back in March 2011, when Blackboard's Board of Directors started looking at potential strategic and financial buyers. Because Providence is the leading global private equity firm focused on media, communications, information services and education investments, look for further growth from Blackboard, which was founded in 1997 and now dominates the online education software and technology marketplace.
Michael Chasen, Blackboard's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “In Providence, we will have a partner who brings a deep understanding of the international education marketplace and shares our vision of providing educators with exceptional technology solutions and services to meet their evolving needs over the long-term.”
The transaction should close during the fourth quarter of 2011; Blackboard will remain headquartered in Washington, DC and continue to be led by its existing senior management team.
You can read the full press release here.