John Wiley & Sons (JWA) to Acquire Learning House from Weld North Holdings for $200M in Cash

October 9, 2018 8:13 AM EDT

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John Wiley & Sons (NYSE: JWA)(NYSE: JWB) announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Learning House, a diversified education services provider, from Weld North Holdings. Under the terms of the agreement, Learning House shareholders will receive $200 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close on or around November 1, 2018, subject to customary closing and regulatory conditions.

Learning House, headquartered in Louisville (KY), provides online program management (OPM) services for colleges and universities, including graduate and undergraduate programs; short courses, bootcamps, and other skills training and credentialing for students and professionals; pathway services for international students; professional development services for teachers; and learning solutions for corporate clients. Revenue for fiscal year 2018 (ending December 31) is forecast to be approximately $70 million, up 17% from the prior year.

“Learning House is a dynamic growth company and we are thrilled to have Todd Zipper and the Learning House team join the Wiley family,” said Brian Napack, President and CEO of Wiley. “The addition of Learning House to Wiley’s portfolio of tech-enabled education services positions us as a clear leader in the rapidly growing market for services that help institutions, corporations, professionals, and students to achieve their goals. Learning House will enable us to partner even more broadly with institutions and employers to give students a high-quality education, prepare them for the right job, and upskill and reskill them throughout their careers. As one of the world’s leading education companies, Wiley’s goals are society’s goals – to generate a strong return on investment in education by delivering programs that improve education and career outcomes and that truly bridge the gap between education and employment.”

Learning House and Wiley’s existing Education Services business will combine to create a diversified software and services leader in the $2.3 billion OPM market, with approximately $200 million in combined annual revenue, over 60 university partners ranging from national to regional, over 800 online graduate and undergraduate degree programs across disciplines, and targeted institutional services such as student recruitment and enrollment. Learning House will further extend Wiley’s reach into the $10+ billion education services space, with short courses, bootcamps, and training services in critical areas like software development and teaching, and a job matching network of more than 450 employers.

“The key to our success is understanding the changing needs of our partners and investing in their success to help students achieve their education and career goals,” said Matt Hillman, General Manager of Wiley Education Services. “Wiley’s presence and reputation inside and across universities is unmatched; our range of international, national and regional partners and programs is unmatched; and our range of services is unmatched. Partnering with Learning House, we now have the scale and service offerings to be the clear-cut partner of choice. We are very excited to have Todd Zipper, a recognized industry leader, and his incredibly talented team at Learning House join our Wiley family.”

“We’re deeply honored to join Wiley, one of the most respected and forward-looking education companies in the world,” said Todd Zipper, President and CEO of Learning House. “Our university partners rely on us to thrive in highly-competitive enrollment environments, with pressing demands for outcomes, sophisticated learning tools, and efficiencies. Learning House as a part of Wiley is an incredible next step for us in our evolution, and I thank our employees for making it happen.”

“We are excited for Learning House to become a part of Wiley and add its legacy of innovation to Wiley’s OPM market business,” said Jonathan Grayer, CEO of Weld North. “The management team led by Todd Zipper has done a superb job of expanding Learning House’s reach, developing its offerings and becoming an important driver in leveraging technology to create true benefit for our partner schools. The business has grown dramatically under this team from under $10 million in revenues in 2011. For Weld North, this transaction makes sense as we focus resources on rapidly scaling our exciting K12 digital education opportunity. We are proud of the Learning House team and look forward to their continued success.”

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