The business will be sold in two separate transactions. Hobsons’ Naviance and Intersect businesses are being sold to US-based PowerSchool, for around US$320mln while the Starfish business is being lobbed out to EAB, a US-based education company, for around US$90mln.
In 2020, the Hobsons unit generated £6mln of adjusted operating profit from revenues of £85mln. It specialises in “EdTech” (education technology), which as the name implies entails incorporating information technology into classroom learning.
“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,” said Paul Zwillenberg, the chief executive of DMGT, explaining why the business was sold.
“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,” he added.