Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE:RST), a leader in technology-based learning solutions best known for its language programs, on Aug. 31 announced that, following a comprehensive process, it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Dallas-based Cambium Learning Group, a provider of digital education solutions and a portfolio company of Veritas Capital . Cambium will acquire Rosetta Stone in an all cash transaction for $30 per share, representing an equity value of approximately $792 million, and a premium of approximately 87.5% to Rosetta Stone’s unaffected closing price on July 16, 2020, the last trading day before a media report was published speculating about a potential sale process.
The Board of Directors of Rosetta Stone unanimously approved the transaction with one director not participating due to a potential interest in the transaction. The companies anticipate completing the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division uses digital solutions to help all types of learners read, write, and speak more than 30 languages. Under its iconic brand, Rosetta Stone provides technology-based language solutions to individual customers, schools and businesses globally. Lexia Learning, Rosetta Stone’s literacy education division, was founded more than 35 years ago and is a leader in the literacy education space. Today, Lexia helps students build reading and oral language skills through its rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and widely respected instruction and assessment blended-learning programs. Solutions include Lexia Core5 Reading (online differentiated literacy instruction for students of all abilities in grades pre-K-5), Lexia® PowerUp® Literacy (online solution to help struggling readers in grades 6-12 become proficient readers and confident learners), Rosetta Stone® English (online blended solution to build oral language skills in emergent bilinguals), and Lexia® Rapid™ Assessment (research-based, computer-adaptive reading and language assessment).
With a portfolio of award-winning brands, Cambium’s digital and blended curriculum, professional learning, and assessment solutions drive proficiency, equity and other learning outcomes in classrooms everywhere. The addition of the Lexia and Rosetta Stone product lines further enhances Cambium’s highly unique continuum of digital products. Cambium is backed by Veritas Capital, a leading investment firm with deep industry expertise and over two decades of experience investing in companies that provide critical products and services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
John Hass, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Stone, said, “This transaction represents the next step on a path that, over the past several years, has transformed our language business and built a previously small K-12 software business into a growing leader in education technology. As part of Cambium, we will have the scale and resources to fulfill our mission and to further leverage the strength of our outstanding team to continue building and delivering technology-based solutions that support the ability to change learners’ lives through language and literacy education. I am especially grateful for the incredible dedication of our global team who, in a difficult environment this year, transitioned smoothly to delivering high-quality learning at home for students and adults.”
“Cambium continues to thoughtfully curate a portfolio of only the best learning brands,” said John Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Cambium. “With the significant addition of Rosetta Stone, including Lexia Learning, we are now able to deliver even more expansive solutions to teachers, administrators, and learners everywhere, and offer a continuum of best-in-class digital solutions that deliver personalized instruction. The team at Rosetta Stone is truly exceptional and I look forward to working together to grow their already-impressive leadership position.”
“The acquisition of Rosetta Stone brings highly strategic products and intellectual property to Cambium’s market-leading family of brands,” said Ramzi Musallam, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Veritas. “We look forward to Cambium’s continued investment in its award-winning product portfolio, and are thrilled to be partnering with Rosetta Stone’s talented employees as we advance our collective mission of improved learning outcomes through differentiated technology solutions.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Rosetta Stone’s Board of Directors, and Hogan Lovells US LLP served as the company’s legal advisor. Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP acted as Cambium’s legal advisor in connection with the transaction.