Blackboard to sell Open LMS to Learning Technologies Group for $31.7m
US educational technology company Blackboard has agreed to sell its Blackboard Open LMS business to Learning Technologies Group (LTG), a UK-based end-to-end learning and talent management solutions provider, for $31.7 million.
Open LMS is said to be the largest commercial provider of the open-source learning platform Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle) in the world. The Open LMS platform is deployed across dozens of countries and is said to be backed by a global team of eLearning and technology experts.
For Learning Technologies Group, the acquisition of Open LMS is a major step towards its goal of achieving a solid foothold in the Moodle market. Headed by Phill Miller, a learning technology leader and Moodle expert, Open LMS is expected to form the based for a consolidation strategy, to support further value-add within Learning Technologies Group and the Moodle community.
Commenting on LTG acquisition of Open LMS, Jonathan Satchell – Learning Technologies Group Chief Executive, said: “We are excited, not only by the introduction of the Open LMS product into our portfolio, but by the addition of the talented workforce transferring into the Group under Phill’s leadership. I am keen to see how we can further develop the capability afforded by this acquisition in the coming weeks and months.”
For Blackboard, the deal will help further streamline its business and speed up momentum in enabling its clients to move to its Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment of Learn and Ultra, the company’s next-generation learning management system (LMS).
Furthermore, the educational technology company said that the sale will also help Open LMS, a Moodle-based SaaS learning management system, to grow its focus on the innovations and services that are key to its client base.
The transaction is also said to strengthen and solidify the focus of Blackboard on innovation and growth in its main focus areas of teaching and learning, community engagement, and student success.
Blackboard provides clients a SaaS EdTech platform that brings together its learning management system, its analytics solution Blackboard Learn Ultra, its accessibility solution Blackboard Data, Blackboard Ally, and Blackboard Collaborate, its virtual collaboration solution.
Bill Ballhaus – Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President said: “This further simplification of our business will enable the company to continue accelerating investment and innovation in our unique EdTech platform that will enable a more personalized experience, fueled by data, to advance learning for our clients.
“We look forward to the continued growth of Blackboard and Open LMS as separate market-leading businesses serving their respective clients.”
Blackboard said that it will continue to give existing Open LMS clients access to the company’s products that fully integrate within the Moodle platform, including Ally, Collaborate, SafeAssign, and Predict.
The US educational technology company and Learning Technologies Group are also looking to forge a partnership agreement that will enable the latter to sell the former’s solutions into the Open LMS client base.
The deal is expected to be wrapped up early in the second quarter of this year.