The companies’ directors have agreed to a merger of equals through an all-stock transaction, according to a Lingo press release. Lingo president and CEO Michael Kraft will resign, to be replaced by current Schoold CEO Joe Ross. Kraft will take up the position of chairman of the board and will be replaced as president by Schoold’s Allison Winston.
It is expected that the company’s new base will be in Toronto, where Lingo is currently situated, though an arm will remain in San Francisco, where Schoold are based.
The merger aims to bring together the student-focused ELT strengths of Lingo Media and the mobile-first coaching skills of Schoold, to create “a global platform for engaging, recruiting and coaching students, as well as helping colleges to ensure international students succeed in English”.
“When it comes to finding and retaining engaged learners, colleges need help of the kind Lingo and Schoold are best qualified to provide”
One immediate benefit from the merger is expected to be the provision of Lingo’s language learning resources to students at all 3,000 of the universities currently in Schoold’s network.
Kraft said in a statement that the partnership will be beneficial for students and shareholders alike.
“This will enable the new combined company to better serve a fast-growing need in higher education for cost-effective ways to find and serve more engaged, better qualified students from all over the world – to drive our growth and shareholder value,” he said.
Lorne Abony, chairman and controlling shareholder of Schoold, added that the merged company will also become a valuable asset for client institutions.
“By combining technology platforms and the ability to engage a broad range of both domestic and international students, the new company will have even more to offer university programs that face increasing competition for applicants,” her statement read.
Schoold CEO Joe Ross meanwhile said the merger will allow the new firm to focus on a wider range of students, including non-native English speakers.
“When it comes to finding and retaining engaged learners – especially those for whom English is a second language – colleges need help of the kind Lingo and Schoold are best qualified to provide.”