Blackboard buys competitor for $180M Jeff Clabaugh Staff Reporter
Educational software maker Blackboard will get a bigger piece of the market through the acquisition of competitor WebCT for $180 million.
The closing price will depend on WebCT's cash on hand, and is expected to reduce the price to approximately $154 million, Blackboard says in a statement.
The acquisition will create an e-learning company with more than 3,700 customers, including colleges and universities, corporate and government clients.
The merged company will operate under the Blackboard name and be headquartered in D.C. It will keep WebCT's operations in Massachusetts and Canada. The merger still requires regulatory approval, but is expected to close late this year or early in 2006.
Profitable Blackboard, whose second-quarter earnings were up six fold from year ago results, expects the acquisition to significantly add to profits beginning in 2007.
Blackboard (NASDAQ: BBBB) also reaffirmed its earlier guidance for fiscal 2005 revenue of as much as $135 million.