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Report: Encyclopaedia Britannica Considering June IPO, $1 Billion Valuation

Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. is reportedly aiming for a valuation of about $1 billion in its previously announced initial public offering (IPO).

The education technology company and publisher may launch its IPO as early as June, Bloomberg reported Monday (March 18), citing unnamed sources.

The company is working with advisers, the deliberations are ongoing, and the valuation, timing and other details could change, according to the report.

Encyclopaedia Britannica did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The company, which is also known as Britannica Group, announced in January that it confidentially submitted a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed IPO.

“The number of shares to be offered by Britannica Group and Encyclopaedia Britannica Holding, S.A., the sole stockholder of Britannica Group, and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined,” the company said in a Jan. 19 press release. “The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

The company has sought to go public for two years, but the IPO market saw a slowdown, according to Monday’s Bloomberg report.

The firm owns not only the 250-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica but also the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Britannica Education and Melingo AI, the report said. The latter is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform used in language learning and dictionaries.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. has shifted its focus to digital editions and online learning in recent years. Its CEO, Jorge Cauz, said in September 2022 that the firm would approach $100 million in revenue that year, per the report.

In another recent move in the education space, Amazon said in November 2023 that it aims to provide free AI skills training to 2 million individuals worldwide by 2025. Amazon’s initiative includes components designed for both adults and young learners and aims to make AI education available to all.

Also in November, it was reported that OpenAI was looking into ways to bring its generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, into classrooms. The company planned to form a team dedicated to exploring the educational applications of its technology.