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Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, founder of Vera Bradley (Nasdaq: VRA), is the latest in a series of entrepreneurs highlighted at ACG New York Women of Leadership events. Photo credit: Robert Blumenfeld


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Expert's Corner

Pursuing Pharma Manufacturing
The fragmented pharmaceutical manufacturing industry provides plenty of opportunities for private equity investors, says JLL Partners founder Paul Levy

Today's Transactions:
Wiley Acquires Efficient Learning Systems for $24M

ELS’s flagship product is aimed at training CPA candidates

John Wiley & Sons Inc. (NYSE: JWA, JWB) has acquired Efficient Learning Systems, an e-learning system provider that specializes in professional finance and accounting, for $24 million.

ELS’s flagship product is aimed at training CPA candidates. CPAexcel includes online self-study, videos, mobile apps and planning tools, helping more than 65,000 professionals prepare for the CPA exam. The service will be delivered directly to professionals worldwide seeking to earn credentials. The company is based in Sedona, Ariz.

Wiley said Nov. 5 that for the fiscal year ending December 2012, ELS’s revenue is expected to be approximately $7 million, but is growing rapidly. Wiley anticipates the acquisition to be essentially neutral to its earnings for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2013.

“This acquisition makes Wiley a leader in the growing CPA test preparation market and provides us with a scalable platform that can be leveraged across other areas of our professional segment,” said Wiley senior vice president of professional development Mark Allin in a statement.

The deal was announced about a month after Wiley's purchasing of Deltak.edu LLC, a Chicago online-education company, for $220 million.

Each transaction underscores Wiley's focus on career development, honing in on areas such as finance, accounting, talent management, leadership, technology, behavioral health, engineering, architecture and professional education.

For more on education see Mergers & Acquisitions' interview with Peter Yoon of Berkery Noyes, as well as "Pivotal Group Acquires Pan Am Education’s Assets."

Anthony Noto contributed to this report. Michael Cohn writes for Accounting Today, sister publication to Mergers & Acquisitions.


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