CloserStill acquires majority stake in Masie Productions’ “Learning Conference”

CloserStillCloserStill Media, the London-based exhibition and conference organiser, has entered a joint venture with Masie Productions to produce future editions of the Learning Conference in Orlando. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Learning Conference draws around 2,000 delegates from the technology and corporate learning sectors each year and more than 40 commercial sponsors in the learning and technology field. In 2017, former First Lady Michelle Obama and actor John Lithgow were keynote speakers and Leslie Odom Jr., author of “Failing Up”, and star of Broadway hit musical Hamilton and author Dan Pink will head the international speaker faculty of ‘Learning 2018’ in November.

Elliott Masie is among the most well-known figures in the global eLearning industry. He is founder of the Masie Center, an international learning lab, and chair of The Learning Consortium, a 20 year old collaboration of Fortune 500 companies. Under the new partnership with CloserStill, Masie will continue to lead the programme curation and act as host for the Learning Conference for the new JV company – CSM Learning, LLC.

A new focus on disruptive technologies will form part of Learning 2018, with the introduction of Tech @Learning – a multi-strand content programme focussing on adaptive learning, artificial intelligence and machine learning, emerging assessment technologies, chatbots, immersive realities, edTech and venture innovations.

CloserStill’s Learning Group Director, Mark Penton, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be working with Elliott and his team. Elliott is an innovator and a disruptor and we feel that our combined global experience in the learning world will make for a very exciting new era for the Learning Conference which we have long admired and respected”.

UK, London & USA, Saratoga Springs, NY

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CloserStill acquires Online Educa Berlin

CloserStillCloserStill Media is to acquire Online Educa Berlin, a cross-sector conference on technology-

supported learning and training, from ICWE GMbH for an undisclosed sum. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1995, OEB is an annual international conference on technology-supported learning and training (e-learning), welcoming over 2,000 delegates from across the corporate, education and public sectors, and including an exhibition featuring more than 80 international Edtech companies and institutions.

The acquisition will complement CloserStill’s existing event brand, Learning Technologies, which has events in Paris and London.

Commenting on the acquisition and the launch plans for Learning Technologies Germany in 2018 alongside OEB, CloserStill’s learning group director, Mark Penton, said: “We are genuinely excited to bring the highly respected OEB event into our family of market-leading events and to work with its founder Rebecca Stromeyer.

“We see a significant opportunity to evolve OEB into one of Europe’s most important learning events with the introduction of our Learning Technologies brand into the heart of the European marketplace.”

Germany, Berlin, UK, London

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Rosetta Stone acquires online language company Livemocha

rosetta stoneRosetta Stone has acquired Seattle-based Livemocha, one of the world’s largest online language-learning communities, for $8.5 million in cash. Livemocha has a community of over 16 million members in 195 countries. The company  uses crowd-sourcing to drive content development and social engagement. Livemocha will remain in Seattle.

“We are in the process of transforming Rosetta Stone to be the most dynamic and ubiquitous technology-based learning platform in the world,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Swad. “Our acquisition of Livemocha will help accelerate that transformation. With Livemocha and its vibrant online community on our side, Rosetta Stone will reach more people and change more lives than ever before.”

USA, Arlington, VA & Seattle, WA

Pearson VUE acquires Exam Design

Pearson2Pearson VUE, the assessment services business of Pearson, has acquired Exam Design Inc, a provider of examination development software used in high-stakes testing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase includes ownership of Exam Design’s flagship product, ExamDeveloper, a web-based suite of tools that helps users examdesigndevelop rigorous and defensible assessments for credentialing purposes while reducing the reliance on in-person meetings.

Pearson VUE has been working with Exam Design for over a year and currently publishes exams created through ExamDeveloper for a variety of clients. Headquartered in North Carolina, the Exam Design business and its employees will remain in their current locations, further supporting a seamless acquisition.

Robert Whelan, CEO and President of Pearson VUE, said: “Exam Design brings to Pearson VUE leading-edge test development technology that’s built on principles of psychometric integrity. Its expertise and services complement our own and fit perfectly with our future plans. This acquisition underscores our commitment to providing next-generation test development tools and services that support and protect the value of our clients’ credentials.

USA, Bloomington, MN & Durham, NC

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World Book, Inc. Acquires Incentive Publications

worldbookWorld Book, Inc., a publisher of print and online educational products, has acquired Incentive Publications.

“We are thrilled to add Incentive Publications (IP) to our family of educational products,” said World Book, incentivepubInc. President Don Keller . “IP’s record of creating excellent supplemental resources for the classroom and promoting effective teaching strategies is directly aligned with our own mission to publish superior reference and instructional products and enlarge our educational publishing product line. IP’s wealth of supplemental classroom products will add to World Book’s impressive existing collection of standards-aligned materials to support teachers.”

USA, Chicago, IL & Grapevine, TX

IAC acquires Tutor.com

IACIAC has acquired Tutor.com, an online tutoring solution. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1998, Tutor.com connects students anytime, anywhere with more than 2,500 screened and qualified tutors for immediate one-to-one sessions. Historically focused on core K-12 subjects, Tutor.com has more recently expanded into AP courses, test prep, college-level curriculum, and real-time writing help.

“Tutor.com has done the hard part, having built over many years an incredible nationwide network of high quality tutors ready to help tutorstudents improve their learning,” said Greg Blatt , CEO of IAC. “We think it’s ripe for us to accelerate usage by bringing to bear our consumer Internet expertise in areas like product, marketing and distribution. It’s not often we find a company with such untapped potential that our particular skill set can help unlock, in an area that truly helps people improve their lives, all at a compelling valuation. Although it’s small, we’re excited about the acquisition.”

George Cigale will remain CEO and continue to run the business from Tutor.com’s offices in New York City.

USA, New York, NY

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UPDATE: Tribal Group acquires International Graduate Insight Group

tribalTribal Group has announced that it has completed its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of International Graduate Insight Group (“i-graduate”). This news comes after its announcement on the 20th December that the provider of education, learning and training services worldwide had reached an agreement with i-graduate to acquire it, with the transaction completing on schedule.

The terms of the deal stated that Tribal Group will pay an initial amount of £2.86 million on completion and up to a maximum of £7.5 million subject to satisfaction of an earn-out criteria based on earnings over the 3 year period ending 31 December 2015. The unaudited profit before tax of International Graduate Insight Group Limited for the year ended 31 March 2012 was £423k and the value of gross assets at that time was £1,799k.

i-graduate is an independent benchmarking and analytics group, working in partnership with institutions and education organisations to provide evidence-based information on education experience and outcomes across higher education, further education and schools markets.  The business works with over 1,200 education institutions in 24 countries, receiving and analysing feedback from more than 1.3 million students of over 190 nationalities.  i-graduate will join Tribal’s Services business and will strengthen the Group’s evidence-based analytics offering.

i-graduate was founded in 2005 by Will and Lindsay Archer.  Will Archer will continue to lead the i-graduate business and will head up the integration of i-graduate’s offerings with Tribal’s existing financial benchmarking and analytic capabilities.

Tribal’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Evans, commented: “This acquisition will enable us to strengthen our capabilities in this exciting and emerging area, expands our product offering to our existing customers and provides increased access for our existing products to the i-graduate customer base, both in the UK and in our targeted international markets.” The transaction is expected to be earnings accretive.

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UK, London