MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PLATO Learning, a leading provider of online education solutions for kindergarten through adult learners, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archipelago Learning (NASDAQ: ARCL), an award-winning software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of supplemental education products. The acquisition enhances the comprehensive portfolio of education solutions that PLATO Learning provides to administrators, educators and learners. PLATO Learning is backed by leading middle market private equity firm Thoma Bravo, LLC.
Founded in 2000, Archipelago Learning products provide standard-based instruction, practice, assessment and productivity tools that improve the performance of educators and students in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“Archipelago Learning is a true innovator in online, supplemental instruction.” said Vin Riera, PLATO Learning chief executive officer. “This acquisition allows us to cover the entire spectrum of learning needs from pre-k through post secondary; as well as reach a broader group of students and educators with a product portfolio that sets a rigorous standard in online education.”
Tim McEwen, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Archipelago Learning said, “This transaction is an excellent outcome for each of our constituents: the millions of students who use our products on a daily basis; the thousands of teachers who leverage our products to improve student performance and learning outcomes; and our shareholders, for whom this represents an attractive premium. PLATO Learning is an excellent partner for Archipelago Learning, with a strong presence in online core curriculum that is highly complementary to our online supplemental curriculum. With our combined financial strength and additional support from Thoma Bravo, we have the means to support our continued innovation and expansion to more comprehensively meet the needs of our customers.”
“Thoma Bravo has a long history of investing in and cultivating industry-leading software companies, and we are excited to bring together Archipelago Learning and PLATO Learning, two leaders in education technology,” said Holden Spaht, a partner at Thoma Bravo. “The acquisition of Archipelago will allow PLATO to offer a complete set of products and services to its customer base.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.
About PLATO Learning, Inc.
PLATO Learning is a leading provider of high-value, comprehensive education technology solutions with a focus on learner achievement leading to academic and career success. With more than 50 years of experience driving significant advances in the industry, PLATO offers a wide variety of innovative solutions spanning a multitude of program areas to facilitate 21st century teaching and learning. For more information on PLATO Learning, visit www.plato.com, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.
About Archipelago Learning, Inc.
Archipelago Learning is a leading subscription-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of supplemental education products used by approximately 14 million students in nearly 38,700 schools throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Archipelago provides standards-based instruction, practice, assessment and productivity tools that improve the performance of educators and students via web-based platforms. For more information on Archipelago Learning, visit www.archlearning.com.
About Thoma Bravo, LLC
Thoma Bravo is a leading private equity investment firm building on a 30+ year history of providing equity and strategic support to experienced management teams building growing companies. The firm has continued to apply the concept of industry consolidation investing, which seeks to create value through the strategic use of acquisitions to accelerate business growth. Thoma Bravo invests across multiple industries, with a particular focus in enterprise and infrastructure software and financial and business services, and works in partnership with management to implement its operating and consolidation expertise to build long-term value. The firm currently manages a series of private equity funds representing almost $4 billion of equity commitments. In software, Thoma Bravo has completed more than 47 add-on acquisitions across 21 platform companies with total annual earnings of approximately $1 billion. For more information, visit www.thomabravo.com.