Brighton-based e-learning services company Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has acquired eThink Education, a provider of Moodle-based learning management systems (LMS).

The cash consideration for eThink at completion will be $20 million. Further performance payments, capped at $16 million, are payable in cash based on achieving ambitious growth targets in each of years of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The deal deepens LTG’s involvement in the Moodle market following its acquisitions of Open LMS and eCreators earlier this year.   

Baltimore-headquartered eThink will be integrated into LTG’s global Moodle business, Open LMS, to further LMS’s stated aim of consolidating the commercial Moodle market and becoming a market leader.

eThink has been a supporter of the open-source Moodle project – and with more than 325 hosted Moodle clients, the Open LMS business now has more than 1,460 cloud-based Moodle clients and eight million users.

LTG’s chief executive, Jonathan Satchell, said: “eThink is an important addition to further build the Open LMS business acquired in April this year into an industry powerhouse in the high-growth Moodle market. The eThink team has built a strong business delivering high levels of both growth and profitability which will be taken to the next stage through integration with Open LMS. This year has seen incredible growth for LTG’s Moodle capability and it now represents about 20% of the group’s recurring software revenue.”

Open LMS’s managing director Phill Miller added: “We have found a significant amount of synergy between [eThink] and Open LMS. The eThink team focuses on customer satisfaction above all else, which has enabled a thriving business. Adding eThink’s exemplary talent and expertise to Open LMS, further enhances our work in the fast-growing Moodle and learning management system market.”

eThink’s founders, Brian Carlson and Cheryl Patsavos, are joining the Open LMS leadership team as head of sales and head of customer success, respectively.

Carlson said: “Open LMS, the newly-acquired eCreators, and now eThink, all have unique strengths in their respective businesses. These strengths combined with the other existing business lines under the LTG family of companies will give us an expanded set of products and services, allow us to provide even better service, and now give us a complete global reach which we believe is extremely exciting for our clients. We cannot wait to begin unlocking this value to our clients and the Moodle and Totara communities at large.”

LTG also acquired JCA Solutions based in Orlando, Florida on 3 November for $1 million. The company operates in the e-learning interoperability standards market and will be merged with LTG’s Rustici Software business. George Vilches, JCA’s owner and chief executive, will focus on software products at Rustici. 

Date published: 9 December 2020

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