PE-Backed Skillsoft Adds to E-Learning M&A with SumTotal Buy


Skillsoft Ltd. is buying SumTotal Systems LLC from Vista Equity Partners for an undisclosed amount.

SumTotal, headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, provides cloud-based human resources services, including training programs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dublin, Ireland-based Skillsoft provides cloud-based e-learning services to companies and government agencies. The company was picked up by private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP in April. Charterhouse, headquartered in London, is currently investing from its ninth fund, which has more than $5.3 billion in capital. 

The acquisition expands Skillsoft's portfolio and reach.

Vista, headquartered in San Francisco, is a private equity firm that has about $13 billion in capital commitments. The firm picked up SumTotal in July 2009, and made several add-on acquisitions, including Accero, CyberShift, GeoLearning and SoftScape. The company focuses on investing in technology deals. In May 2013, the firm bought Websense Inc. (Nasdaq: WBSN) for about $1 billion. 

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as Skillsoft's financial adviser. Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse committed to providing financing for the deal. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal advices. Evercore was Vitsa's financial adviser, while Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal counsel.

Other recent e-learning deals include Security Innovation's acquisition of Safelight in July, and Kaplan's purchase of Dev Bootcamp in June. 

For more on the trend, see "E-Learning Providers Eager to Expand." 

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