BOSTON (Dec. 22, 2021) Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.
Codecademy is an innovative and popular learning platform providing high-demand technical skills to approximately 40 million registered learners in nearly every country worldwide. The platform offers interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning in 14 programming languages across multiple domains such as application development, data science, cloud and cybersecurity. In addition, the Codecademy platform can rapidly expand to deliver new skills at scale, making it highly adaptable to the evolving technical needs of learners and their employers. Codecademy, which was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in New York, is led by a proven entrepreneurial team that has built one of the most admired technical skills learning platforms in the industry.
"Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft's capabilities in the high-growth Tech & Dev segment," said Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft. "Strategic acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. We acquired virtual instructor-led training capabilities with Global Knowledge and coaching with Pluma earlier this year. With the addition of Codecademy's innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft's enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy's 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies."
Following the close of the transaction, the Codecademy team will join Skillsoft to help further build out the leading technical skills training solution for learners globally.
"Since our founding, Codecademy has been focused on empowering our learners to build inspiring careers in technology," said Zach Sims, founder and CEO of Codecademy. "We have helped tens of millions of people around the world learn new technology skills. Together with Skillsoft, we will have the opportunity to rapidly increase the size of our content library and scale Codecademy across the millions of learners and thousands of companies — including approximately 75% of the Fortune 1000 — that work with Skillsoft worldwide. With additional resources and opportunities to drive growth, we are excited to embark on this important next chapter."
Strategic Rationale and Benefits
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Codecademy shareholders will receive total consideration of approximately $525 million. The consideration for the transaction is approximately 40% cash and 60% equity. In connection with the transaction, Skillsoft has secured committed financing from Barclays and Citigroup. The Company expects pro-forma net leverage at closing to be approximately 4x, consistent with Skillsoft's previous statements regarding leverage following a transformative acquisition.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to approval by Skillsoft shareholders, the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals, including the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
Skillsoft (NYSE:SKIL) is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today's workforce for tomorrow's economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft's offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.