There are two pieces of LMS market news that have been made public that we would like to highlight to subscribers.

Blackboard Debt Ratings Upgrade

Last spring I wrote at e-Literate about Moody’s downgrading Blackboard’s debt rating, and through the summer we (Michael and I) pointed out how this situation could impact Blackboard’s operations. No, that coverage did not lead to a pleasant, relaxing BbWorld18 for us, thanks for asking.

Since that time, Blackboard has had two significant financial wins that have led Moody’s and S&P to upgrade the company’s debt rating. Blackboard sold the Transact business line for more money than expected, and last month the company refinanced their remaining debt with terms extending to 2023 / 24. In a nutshell, Blackboard is much better shape financially than a year ago, to a degree that should give them greater ability to push towards Learn SaaS and Learn Ultra. Moody’s went so far as to describe:

“Blackboard will be a more focused company not just because of the Transact divestiture, but due to its evolution towards a pure SaaS model and unified platform architecture as well.”

That last phrase is instructive about just how important Learn SaaS is to the company’s future. There are cautions for Blackboard if the “revenue trends will not be reversed”, but for now this debt ratings upgrade is worth noting.

Instructure Open to Sale Options

I just put up a blog post online that based on Instructure’s news this morning:

“Instructure (NYSE: INST) today announced that in response to interest received from multiple third parties, its board of directors, supported by management, has commenced a process to explore strategic alternatives in order to maximize shareholder value. These alternatives may include continuing as a standalone public company, going private, or being purchased by a strategic partner. The board has retained J.P. Morgan as its financial advisor and Cooley LLP as its legal advisor in connection with the review.”

We’ll have more coverage on this topic, but we wanted to alert subscribers to the post and news.

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The MindWires Team