Press Releases

Blackboard and Edline Join Forces

Merger Brings Together Two Leaders in K-12 Education Technology

WASHINGTON – October 5, 2011 – Blackboard Inc. and Edline, two companies with deep roots in supporting K-12 schools and districts, will join together to better serve teachers and learners, the companies announced. With the merger, Blackboard becomes the leading commercial provider of online learning, mass notification and Web site solutions to the K-12 market.

The companies currently serve thousands of K-12 school districts and tens of thousands of schools with a range of complementary solutions for online and mobile learning, professional development and community engagement. Edline and Blackboard are both owned by Providence Equity Partners, which announced the completion of its acquisition of Blackboard yesterday.

Both companies provide learning management and mass notification solutions to the K-12 market, while Edline also offers a popular “learning community management system” (LCMS) that integrates learning management and notification capabilities within a school or district Web site. Blackboard also offers robust Web conferencing and collaboration and mobile education solutions to K-12 clients.

Working together, the companies will offer a more diverse and complete set of options that gives clients greater choice and flexibility in choosing products and services that best support their work.

“Our companies share a common vision for improving education, and together we can better serve teachers and learners with an expanded solution set and the ability to make deeper investments as a combined company,” said Michael Chasen, CEO at Blackboard. “We’re in a great position to bring greater value and choice to the K-12 market with the support of an ownership group that is highly committed to education.”

The companies will work together to invest in their overall product set for K-12 schools and districts, including the Edline LCMS, which will remain an independent offering. The future product roadmap will be developed with the expertise that the combined team has gained through years of service for millions of K-12 teachers, students and administrators. In carrying out its strategic plan, Edline will operate as a division within Blackboard.

“We’re excited about this combination and its potential to support greater use of technology in K-12 education,” said Rick Noble, CEO of Edline, who will join the Blackboard executive team and lead the Edline division of Blackboard. “Our combined client communities now have access to a wider range of options and choices, and we can now offer the industry a truly unique set of solutions that supports all of the most important activities and interactions taking place in learning communities.”

To learn more about Edline and Blackboard please visit http://www.blackboard.com/edline.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Edline

Edline is the leading provider of Web sites and communications solutions specifically designed for K-12 education. As an industry leader for over a decade, Edline helps over 20,000 schools and millions of families succeed through the use of innovative technologies that support learning and enable meaningful online communication and collaboration between teachers, students and parents throughout the learning community.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “will,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on August 4, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of October 5, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to October 5, 2011.