Wisconsin Rapids company sold for $1.1 billion - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Rapids company sold for $1.1 billion

WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) - Renaissance Learning, an education analysis company, announced Wednesday it has reached agreement to sell the company to a private investment firm for $1.1 billion.

The deal comes just weeks after Google Capital, the search giant's investment fund, invested $40 million in the company. It was characterized as Google's first venture into education.

The sale from Permira, a private equity firm, to Hellman & Friedman, a private equity investment firm founded in 1984 with offices in San Francisco, New York and London, is expected to be finalized within three months, the companies said in a statement.

Renaissance Learning will remain headquartered in Wisconsin Rapids, executives said.

Today, there is an incredible opportunity to harness data to help teachers unlock the learning potential of their students,” Chief Executive Officer Jack Lynch said. “Partnering with Hellman & Friedman will give us additional tools and resources to continue building out our capabilities, broadening our market reach and ultimately helping teachers transform education.”

Renaissance Learning is in more than one-third of U.S. schools and 60 countries, the company said. Its 900 workers include researchers, educators, content-area experts, data scientists and technologists who create and improve classroom-proven tools designed to accelerate student learning.

The company, founded in the basement of Judi and Terry Paul in 1984, keeps data for 38,000 schools and maintains reading records for 10.7 million students, according its website.

Anupam Mishra, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, said Renaissance Learning's history of innovating to help teachers is long and unrivaled.

Renaissance is at the forefront of personalized learning and will have a meaningful impact on education in the 21st century,” he said.

Published reports said Permira acquired Renaissance Learning for $455 million in October 2011.

Google Capital is expected to remain as an investor under the new ownership, Renaissance Learning's statement said.

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