Partnerships / Acquisitions

College Payments Co Blackboard Transact Could Sell For $720M

Providence Equity Partners is reportedly looking at takeover offers for Blackboard Transact, a campus-focused payments company that could sell for around $720 million. According to Bloomberg, Blackboard Transact is a unit of Blackboard Inc., an education software company that has been struggling with debt after some of its major clients, such as Cornell University, left to sign on with its rival Canvas.

While Providence declined to comment on the takeover reports, sources revealed that the company has hired an advisor to help it weigh its options.

Blackboard, based in Washington, D.C., provides students from kindergarten to 12th grade and beyond with web-based tools. Last September, the company moved into the mobile order-ahead market with the launch of its white-label app, which allows students to place food orders at participating campus locations.

Through the app, students can use several in-app payment options, including their institutions’ closed-loop payment systems. Users can also split orders across payment methods.

However, as it launches new services, Blackboard is also dealing with a variety of debt. Bloomberg data showed that the company has a $135 million first-lien revolver, a $934 million term loan due in 2021 and around $377.6 million in second-lien notes. The junior-lien notes due in 2021 trade at nearly $.72 on the dollar, with a yield over 24.6 percent.

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