Milbank LLP acted as legal advisor to Anthology and Veritas, and J.P. Morgan and UBS are providing committed financing to Anthology for the proposed transaction.
Deutsche Bank served as financial advisor to Blackboard, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to Blackboard. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to Providence.
Anthology, a leading provider of proven higher education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, and Blackboard, a leading global EdTech software and solutions company, announced a definitive agreement to combine the two companies. The combination will create the most comprehensive and modern EdTech ecosystem available on a global scale. The merger is designed to accelerate transformation at education institutions to enhance the learner experience and drive student and institution success.
Blackboard is a leading provider of learning management software, communication tools and student success solutions to 150 million users in more than 80 countries. Its clients include higher education institutions, K-12 schools, governments and businesses.
Anthology provides higher education enterprise software and solutions around enrollment management, student engagement, alumni fundraising and institutional effectiveness. Anthology serves over 2,000 unique colleges and universities in more than 30 countries. Anthology’s solutions and services are designed to create operational efficiencies, identify opportunities, and empower institutions with distinct products to unite data, experiences and insights across campus.
With the merger of Anthology and Blackboard, the combined company will create the most comprehensive EdTech ecosystem across academic, administrative and student engagement applications. Together, the two companies will strengthen their missions of advancing knowledge and learning and focus their investment in driving the next wave of EdTech innovation.
The combined entity will be majority owned by Veritas Capital (“Veritas”), a private equity firm that focuses on investments in technology or technology-enabled companies. Leeds Equity Partners (“Leeds”), a private equity firm focused exclusively on partnering with companies in the Knowledge Industries, will hold a minority stake in the company. Veritas and Leeds are currently the majority owners of Anthology. Providence Equity Partners LLC (“Providence”), Blackboard’s existing majority owner, will hold a minority stake in the combined company.
The Milbank deal team was led by Global Corporate partners Richard Presutti (Picture) and Iliana Ongun, along with associate Lowell Dyer. The team also included Global Capital Markets partner Antonio Diaz-Albertini, Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits partner Mike Shah and Tax partner Max Goodman.
The Debevoise team was led by M&A partners Sue Meng and Michael Diz and includes associate John Love, investment management partners Andrew Ahern and Alisa Waxman and associates Morgan Aveni, Xiao Luo and Amy Ross, and tax partners Rafael Kariyev and Peter Schuur and associate Lena Smith.
Involved fees earner: Andrew Ahern – Debevoise & Plimpton; Morgan Aveni – Debevoise & Plimpton; Michael Diz – Debevoise & Plimpton; Rafael Kariyev – Debevoise & Plimpton; John Love – Debevoise & Plimpton; Xiao Luo – Debevoise & Plimpton; Sue Meng – Debevoise & Plimpton; Amy Ross – Debevoise & Plimpton; Peter Schuur – Debevoise & Plimpton; Lena Smith – Debevoise & Plimpton; Alisa Waxman – Debevoise & Plimpton; Antonio Diaz-Albertini – Milbank LLP; Lowell Dyer – Milbank LLP; Max Goodman – Milbank LLP; Iliana Ongun – Milbank LLP; Richard Presutti – Milbank LLP; Manan Shah – Milbank LLP;