Hellman & Friedman to buy Renaissance Learning for $1.1 bn

US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman today struck a deal to buy cloud-based education software company Renaissance Learning for $1.1 billion in cash from British peer Permira.

BooksThe deal comes less than a month after Google Inc's late-stage investment fund, Google Capital, invested $40 million in exchange for a minority stake in Renaissance Learning. (See: Google's fund invests $40 mn in education technology firm Renaissance Learning)

Renaissance Learning said that Google Capital is expected to stay on as an investor in the company.

Permira Funds had acquired Renaissance Learning in 2011 for around $455 million, after it sweetened its offer to match a rival takeover bid from Plato Learning.

Founded in 1985 by Judi and Terry Paul, Wisconsin-based Renaissance Learning is an educational assessment and learning analytics company that makes cloud-based educational software for school children from Kindergarten to the 12th grade.

Renaissance Learning's tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalise practice in reading, writing and math.

It now hosts data for more than 38,000 schools and reading records for almost 11 million US students and has over 900 employees in six US locations and subsidiaries in Canada and the UK.