The huge news of the week: Blackboard and Anthology are merging (I suspect Anthology is acquiring Bb in reality):
Yep. Chairman of CEO of Anthology will lead combined company, with same primary investors (Veritas and Leeds), w Providence (owner of Bb) taking minority stake.
Remember that Anthology is a roll-up company created by PE-backed move to combine Campus Management, Campus Labs, and iModules.
This ends a very long-running sales process for Blackboard, starting with 2015's attempt to sell for $3 b…
No details yet on whether they will keep the Anthology brand for the overall company, and how strongly Blackboard will or won't maintain its identity. The PowerSchool acquisition of Schoology is probably the closest parallel.
Part of the reason this is big news - LMS market has been characterized by non-linear events, typically based on M&A or IPOs, where the real change happens, with longer periods of slow movement in between. This could be nonlinear.
A major difference, however, is that K-12 markets support consolidation strategy including academic functions better than HE. PowerSchool, Frontline, etc. The combination of LMS into broader ERP-based portfolio is not as established in HE.
Jenzabar is one example of combo HE company w LMS. In the 2000s there was a *lot* of talk about the same type of combo, but it didn't happen. This is new approach - some parallels w PowerSchool but also some differences.
Blog post from Bb CEO Bill Ballhaus:…
Blog post is up - this one mostly objective descriptions.…

Next one will be heavier on subjective analysis.

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More from @PhilOnEdTech

14 May 20
California's May budget revise is out; one of the first signs of how states might deal with COVID-changed finances. Here is summary:…
p. 48: "... the number of students seeking to enroll at UC, CSU, and CCC campuses is expected to grow in the coming years. CCCs, in particular, will likely see notable increases because their enrollment tends to rise when economic challenges emerge. "
This is interesting: "Collaboratively adopt the use of a common online learning management system, for example, Canvas, which is already used by over 80 percent of the UC, CSU, and CCCs." #LMS #Canvas
Read 16 tweets
23 Dec 19
1/ Instructure ($INST)'s preliminary proxy statement is out, which is doc describing upcoming shareholder vote on whether to accept the Thoma Bravo acquisition.… #LMS #Canvas #edtech
2/ Doc has a lot of new details, including total price of deal (adding in stock options, etc): $1.959 billion
3/ Fees that Instructure would owe Thoma Bravo if deal does not go through: $29.3 million if superior bid comes in before Jan 8 (go-shop period) from party who had not already given bid, or $63.5 million otherwise. Instructure would get $136.9m if Bravo walks.
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30 Jul 19
July 30, 2019 - the day the OPM market changed. 30 minutes into 2U ($TWOU) earnings call, stock down 25% in after hours trading. 2U is moving from primarily rev-share grad program OPM business into diversified business including full-university deals, fee-for-service, 1/
corporate learning / skills, short courses (non-degree). Yes, they started most of these before, but now business is redefined around full suite. Major changes to expectations on grad program OPM business. 2/
Guidance for program starts in next year or two likely to be "fewer than half" of previous guidance. 3/
Read 10 tweets
1 May 19
1\ Pretty big news about planned merger between McGraw-Hill Education and Cengage Learning, sounding like all-stock (no cash) transaction between roughly equal partners…
2\ While news calls out the private equity angle (both PE owned) and associated cost savings (estimated $300m over 3 years) due to combination, and while they mention the size of combined company (est. $3.1b revenue w $5b market value) to compete w Pearson ($5.4b / $8.5b)...
3\ those are secondary reasons for merger. The potential upside / value of merger is based on the movement to subscription model for course materials. Both MHE and CL have Inclusive Access offerings, which is moving in direction of subscriptions.
Read 11 tweets

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