Providence-Blackboard Deal Near

Reuters reported that Blackboard, the Washington, D.C.-based education software maker, is nearing a deal to be acquired by Providence Equity Partners. Specifics on the transaction were not revealed, but a consortium of debt providers would include BAML, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank.


Blackboard nears sale to Providence: sources

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Providence Equity Partners is nearing a deal to buy education software company Blackboard Inc (BBBB.O), with the two sides finalizing terms on Thursday evening, said three sources close to the situation.
A deal could be announced by Friday morning, two sources said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) are providing the debt financing for the transaction, two of the sources said.
Providence and the banks declined to comment. Blackboard was not immediately available for comment.
Blackboard’s shares closed on Thursday at $43.39. The company has a market capitalization of about $1.52 billion.
Although details of the financing were not provided, the amount is expected to be greater than 7 times leverage, said one of the sources.
Last week Reuters reported Providence Equity is in exclusive talks to buy Blackboard, which makes learning software for schools and businesses.
Washington D.C.-based Blackboard said in April it had retained Barclays Capital BARCBC.UL to advise it over unsolicited, nonbinding acquisition proposals it has received.
The sources declined to be named because the matter is private.
(Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Soyoung Kim; Editing by Carol Bishopric, Phil Berlowitz)