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TMCNet:  Imagine Learning Is Acquired by Weld North

[April 07, 2014]

Imagine Learning Is Acquired by Weld North

PROVO, Utah --(Business Wire)--

Imagine Learning, a Utah-based language and literacy company, announced today that it has been acquired by Weld North Holdings LLC, an investment company led by former Kaplan, Inc CEO Jonathan Grayer. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Weld North believes Imagine Learning is poised for substantial growth in a vibrant and growing EdTech market.

"Imagine Learning's unique game-based solution engages children, makes it fun for them to learn, and supports teachers in their pursuit of teaching English language and literacy skills to their students," said Jonathan Grayer, Chairman and CEO of Weld North. "The company's headquarters in Provo is situated in the midst of a rapidly expanding pool of excellent talent, and it has a long runway of growth ahead. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to facilitate that growth and positively impact the way children are learning in the classroom."

Imagine Learning will remain in Provo, Utah, and there will be no immediate management changes. Over the past decade, Imagine Learning has grown from a fledgling start-up-led by founder and former CEO Susan Preator-to a flourishing multi-million dollar company, contributing to the thriving technology-friendly hub of Utah County. Imagine Learning is in the process of expanding its workforce and recently secured an additional 26,000 square feet of office space at its current location in anticipation of continued growth. Joe Swenson, Imagine Learning CEO, said the acquisition is evidence of Imagine Learning's strong position in the digital education sector. "We want to recognize the incredible efforts of our founders, all of our coworkers, and our board members, including those fromSorenson Capital. Through their dedication and hard work over the past 10 years, Imagine Learning has become one of the most recognized digital English language and literacy programs in the country for K-6 students," said Swenson.


"Imagine Learning is one of Utah's great success stories, and it has been our pleasure to be a strategic partner during such a critical point of the company's history," said Fraser Bullock, co-founder and Managing Director of Sorenson Capital. "The founders' vision of helping the children of the world achieve literacy will be bolstered by the new partnership with Weld North, which has established its leadership in education. We're excited to see what's next for Imagine Learning as it continues on its journey to fulfill its worthwhile mission."

Through its educational software platform, Imagine Learning provides language and literacy instruction to hundreds of thousands of students throughout the United States. Imagine Learning has been a long-time Utah education partner, serving English language learners, struggling readers and early childhood students across the state. Finding an investor that shares Imagine Learning's vision of helping children succeed was critical to the Imagine Learning executive team. Weld North has extensive educational expertise and a strong desire to grow the mission of Imagine Learning. "We are excited about our new partnership with Weld North. Jonathan Grayer and his team bring a wealth of experience in digital education that will provide a launching pad for even more significant and rapid growth," said Swenson.

Imagine Learning customers will continue to receive an excellent product combined with unparalleled support. The Imagine Learning strategy will remain the same. Susan Preator, founder and Executive Chairman, said, "Imagine Learning will continue producing the best language and literacy program for elementary students available. Our mission is to change lives and open doors of opportunity for children everywhere. That has always been-and will continue to be-our focus."

Throughout this transaction, BMO Capital Markets Corp. is serving as financial advisor to Imagine Learning, and Holland & Hart, LLP is serving as legal advisor.

About Imagine Learning

Imagine Learning delivers award-winning language and literacy solutions to elementary students throughout the U.S. and around the world. Imagine Learning creates educational software that uses engaging, one-on-one instruction to meet students' individual learning needs. The software is research-based, instructionally differentiated, and incredibly fun to use. Also available on iPad, Imagine Learning supports a dynamic blended learning experience.

About Weld North

Weld North is an investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global investment firm, Weld North seeks to make control investments in businesses with high potential for long-term growth in cash flow. With strong and highly motivated management teams, the firm looks to accelerate growth through an obsessive focus on enhancing the customer experience, operational excellence, marketing expertise, and strategic and disciplined management.


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