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Daily Mail owner sells its EdTech business Hobsons for about $410 million

Feb 18 (Reuters) - The owner of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper said on Thursday that it has agreed to sell its EdTech business, Hobsons, in two separate transactions, for a total of about $410 million.

Daily Mail and General Trust said that its Hobsons’ Naviance and Intersect businesses are being sold to U.S.-based PowerSchool, a K-12 education technology solutions company, for about $320 million.

Hobsons’ Starfish business, after an internal restructuring where it will be spun-out from the rest of Hobsons, is being sold to EAB, a U.S.-based education company, for about $90 million, the company said in a statement.

“Consistent with our strategy, the divestitures will increase the focus of the DMGT portfolio, resulting in the Group operating in four sectors, compared to ten in 2016,” Daily Mail and General Trust Chief Executive Officer Paul Zwillenberg said.

“The proceeds will strengthen DMGT’s existing net cash position, further enhancing DMGT’s significant financial flexibility,” he added.

In the 2020 financial year, Hobsons generated 6 million pounds ($8.38 million) adjusted operating profit from revenues of 85 million pounds.

Centerview Partners is acting as exclusive financial adviser for the deal, the company said.

In January, the publisher of the Daily Mail said that group revenue fell 15% in the three months to the end of December, dragged down by falls in print advertising revenues at its papers and by cancellations in its events business. ($1 = 0.7160 pounds) (Reporting by Nandakumar D in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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