The Daily Mail and General Trust, the owner of UK newspaper Daily Mail, has agreed to sell its edtech business, Hobsons, for around $410 million as it looks to free up cash to survive the pandemic.
- Hobsons' Naviance unit, which offers college and career advice, and its Intersect service, which matches students with higher education options, will be sold to US-based K-12 education software provider PowerSchool for about $320 million.
- Education group EAB will buy the remaining Starfish business, which offers a college-focused student success platform, in a $90 million deal.
- The demand for edtech has surged due to the pandemic. PowerSchool filed to go public earlier this month at an estimated valuation of $6 billion, and there were several major acquisitions in the space last year, including Course Hero's takeover of AI-backed calculator provider Symbolab. In the VC sphere, startups in the sector raised over $13 billion in 2020, up almost 50% from the previous record in 2018.
- DMGT reported a 15% drop in group revenue in its last quarter trading update, notably due to a fall in circulation and ad revenue, as well as canceled events, all caused by COVID-19. CEO Paul Zwillenberg said the sale would strengthen its financial flexibility and streamline its portfolio.