Cambium Learning Completes Acquisition of Rosetta Stone, Looks to Meet COVID-Era Demands

Staff Writer

Cambium Learning Group has closed its acquisition of Rosetta Stone, a company that Cambium plans to maintain as a distinct brand under its portfolio.

The deal brings together Cambium, a company that offers a broad array of products spanning curriculum, assessment, professional development, and other areas; with Rosetta Stone, which is known for its language learning products for both adult learners and school-age populations.

The acquisition will allow Cambium to offer an even more diverse product mix, and tap into new demands for language learning that have emerged during the pandemic, the company said.

“We really are about bringing brands together and having them remain autonomous,” Cambium Chief Marketing Officer John Jorgenson said.

Essentially, Rosetta Stone will continue to “run solo,” but reap the benefit of shared services it previously didn’t have, akin to the American Institutes of Research’s assessment division, which Cambium acquired earlier this year, Jorgenson said.

Cambium is interested in strengthening its position as a brand that can both provide assessment of students’ progress and prescribe solutions through delivery of instructional support and intervention, he said in an email.

As part of the acquisition, Cambium Learning will work to make clearer the definitions of Rosetta Stone as a languages brand and Lexia Learning as a literacy brand. Lexia is a subsidiary within the 1,205-employee Rosetta Stone, and provides reading and oral language instruction and assessment programs.

Rosetta Stone has seen a “huge surge in demand” this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, both in K-12 and the general consumer-facing side, he said. Cambium, which has 1,436 employees in addition to the ones who work for Rosetta Stone, plans to maintain both of those business lines.

“[B]oth brands have shown remarkable resilience and partnership to their growing base of users,” Cambium CEO John Campbell said in a statement. “By leveraging our combined scale, Rosetta Stone and Lexia Learning will be able to reach even more teachers, students and lifetime learners and better serve their existing customers.”

The acquisition allows Cambium to pitch a broader set of products, including those offered through Lexia Learning and the LETRS literacy professional development platform, which is housed under Cambium’s Voyager Sopris Learning platform, said Jorgenson.

“What we’re interested in is what’s going to make us better as an organization, what’s going to make the organization that we acquire better?” he said. “On top of us both being able to get better by coming together, what’s the thing that we can now do that neither of us could think of doing before?”

Jorgenson said his company will also attempt to leverage Rosetta Stone’s sophisticated speech recognition engine across other Cambium products.

Cambium’s private equity company Veritas Capital facilitated the acquisition.

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