Instructure explores a possible sale


Instructure, the publicly traded company behind the popular Canvas college learning management system, is considering a number of strategic options for its business, including a possible sale.

In a statement Thursday, the company said it plans to go private, be purchased by a strategic partner, or continue as a stand-alone state-owned enterprise.

Activist investors Sachem Head, Praesidium Investment Management and Jana Partners have asked Instructure to explore a sale and have reportedly identified several potential buyers for the Canvas LMS. Sachem Head is also running a campaign to sell the online program management company 2U.

While Instructure’s higher education business is doing well, its corporate employee development software Bridge is losing money. Kevin Oram, co-founder and managing partner of Praesidium, said Bloomberg that the sale of Bridge would unlock the value of Canvas, which he estimated at $ 2.5 billion.

Phil Hill, Partner at MindWires Consulting and Editor of Phil on Ed Tech, wrote in a blog post that the goal of investor pressure is to increase support for Canvas, not reduce it. “The infrastructure department has made it their business to say that they are increasing their investments in Canvas, but today’s news emphasizes this need even more. “

Hill noted that Blackboard, the main provider of LMS, went through a similar process a few years ago, before going private in 2011. Blackboard considered a sale in 2015, but did not make it. “These processes don’t always result in a sale,” Hill said.

“Keep watching – this should be interesting for the LMS market,” he said.

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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