Daily Mail and General Trust to sell EdTech business, Hobsons for $410 million

LONDON: Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT) has agreed the sale of Hobsons, its EdTech business, in two separate transactions, for total proceeds of approximately US$410 million, a news release said.

Hobsons’ Naviance and Intersect businesses are being sold to US-based PowerSchool, a leading provider of K-12 education technology solutions, for approximately US$320m, and are expected to be part of PowerSchool’s unified platform. The timing of completion is subject to the customary closing conditions.

Hobsons’ Starfish business, after an internal restructuring where it will be spun-out from the rest of Hobsons, is being sold to EAB, a US-based education company, for approximately US$90m. Together, Starfish and EAB are expected to enhance their complementary student success capabilities in order to strengthen their support of students. The timing of completion is subject to the customary closing conditions.

Paul Zwillenberg, DMGT CEO, commented: “These two transactions mark another major milestone in DMGT’s transformation and are a clear demonstration of the benefits of our strategy. Hobsons was restructured in 2017 to focus on high-growth opportunities in Student Success. The combination of operational execution and organic investment drove a significant increase in capital value.

Consistent with our strategy, the divestitures will increase the focus of the DMGT portfolio, resulting in the Group operating in four sectors, compared to ten in 2016. The proceeds will strengthen DMGT’s existing net cash position, further enhancing DMGT’s significant financial flexibility.”

Naviance is a K-12 college and career readiness solution and Intersect is a higher education student match and fit business.

Starfish is a higher education student retention and success platform.

In FY 2020, Hobsons generated £6m adjusted operating profit from revenues of £85m.

Centerview Partners is acting as exclusive financial adviser and Baker McKenzie as exclusive legal adviser to DMGT during the disposal process.

DMGT manages a portfolio of companies that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment. The Group takes a long-term approach to investment and has market-leading positions in consumer media, insurance risk, property information, education technology and events & exhibitions. In total, DMGT generates revenues of around £1.2bn.


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