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Providence Equity Partners Completes Acquisition Of Blackboard Inc.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) today announced the completion of its acquisition by an investor group led by affiliates of Providence Equity Partners in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.64 billion in enterprise value, plus the assumption of approximately $136 million in debt.  

As previously announced, the transaction was approved by Blackboard stockholders at a special meeting of stockholders held September 16, 2011. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition agreement, Blackboard stockholders will receive $45.00 in cash for each share of Blackboard common stock. The transaction represents a 21 percent premium over the closing price of $37.16 per share on April 18, 2011, the day before Blackboard publicly announced that it was evaluating strategic alternatives.

Michael Chasen, president and chief executive officer of Blackboard, stated, "With similar values and a common vision, we are excited to work with an experienced partner like Providence.  We look forward to strengthening our position in the education marketplace and serving our customers and the broader education community with continued quality, excellence and innovation."

Peter Wilde, a Managing Director at Providence, said, "Blackboard is now an extremely valuable asset in our portfolio of education investments. We are also combining our portfolio company, Edline, with Blackboard which will significantly increase its presence in the K-12 sector. Leveraging our experience in the education sector along with the strength of the Blackboard management team, we believe Blackboard will continue to drive and benefit from the increasing penetration of digital technologies and content in schools around the world."

Blackboard will remain headquartered in Washington, DC and continue to be led by its existing senior management team. Steve Alesio, former Chairman & CEO of Dun & Bradstreet and a Senior Advisor of Providence Equity Partners, will become Chairman of the Board.  As a result of the consummation of the acquisition, Blackboard will be delisted from the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Holders of certificated shares and uncertificated shares (i.e., holders whose shares are held in book entry form) of Blackboard common stock will receive a letter of transmittal and instructions on how to surrender their shares of Blackboard common stock in exchange for the merger consideration and should wait to receive the letter of transmittal and instructions before surrendering their shares.

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