Washington, DC-area-based Aptara has been acquired for an enterprise value of approximately $150 million by iEnergizer Limited, a public conglomerate listed on the London Stock Exchange, with “wide-ranging investments in business process outsourcing, oil and gas, and real estate.” ($5 million of the purchase price will be held in escrow for 12 months.) iEnergizer is funding the acquision primarily through a new $114 million short-term loan facility. As of a year ago (the end of 2010), Aptara had revenues of $66 million and operating profit of $10.1 million.
iEnergizer board chair Sara Latham says in the announcement, “As the only player in the industry that offers content creation, instructional design, graphic design, editorial services, and cross-platform publishing technologies with a proven onshore/offshore production model, we are well positioned to help content providers’ capitalize on digital mediums with new media-rich, interactive products.”
Latham and Anil Agarwal will join the Aptara board. The unit will continue to operate as a standalone entity. Aptara ceo Dev Ganesan tells DBW “this is going to give us a platform to make some strategic acquisitions.”
Separately, Bertelsmann‘s management continues to talk about expanding the company beyond its historical strengths in Germany, particularly into development markets and education (e.g. Pearson’s strategy). The latest installment comes an interview with new ceo Thomas Rabe and Germany’s Der Spiegel. Within five years the company will be “more international in more areas of business,” Rabe says. Reuters notes, “The group aims to expand into education not only in Europe and the United States but also Brazil, India and China, Rabe said, adding that it would need investment partners because it cannot take on more debt.” That goes in line with their $50 million anchor investment in University Ventures, announced last month.