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Charterhouse emerges as $2.3bn lead bidder for buyout-backed Skillsoft

14 Mar 2014

computers online education teachingEuropean buyout firm Charterhouse Capital Partners is reportedly nearing a $2.3bn deal for private equity-backed online learning company Skillsoft.

Advent International, Bain Capital and Berkshire Partners hired Deutsche Bank earlier this year to explore a potential sale having bought the business for $1.2bn in 2010.

The trio stand to make about three times their money through the sale according to Reuters, which cited a person with knowledge of the sale process.

They said Providence Equity Partners also made a binding bid for Skillsoft during an auction process, but Charterhouse emerged as the lead contender.

Skillsoft was incorporated in Ireland in 1989 and merged with IT courseware company SmartForce in 2002. Since then it has acquired NETg in 2007, Element K in 2011 and ThirdForce Group in 2012.

The company offers learning solutions that include digitised books, videos, simulations, a learning management system and other content development tools. It recorded EBITDA of $139.2m for its most recent 12-month period.

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