Renaissance Acquires myON to Create Merged Lineup of Reading, Assessment Products

Managing Editor

The major provider of assessment and classroom products Renaissance announced today that it will acquire myON, in a move aimed at creating a broad, complementary array of literacy products for schools. 

Renaissance, headquartered in Wisconsin, is known for providing its Accelerated Reader classroom product and Star 360, an assessment package. It says it has a presence in more than one-third of U.S. schools.

The classroom resource provider MyON currently offers a content library with more than 13,000 digital books. Based in Minnesota, the company has to date been a division of the publisher Capstone. Renaissance is acquiring myON from Francisco Partners, a private equity firm.

The companies did not disclose the cost of the transaction.

Renaissance CEO Daniel Hamburger said in an interview that he and other executives at his company began working on the potential deal several months ago, shortly after he assumed the helm of the company in July. Renaissance has long seen myON as a natural partner, he said.

“It was one of the first calls I made after joining Renaissance,” Hamburger said.

The acquisition will “create an all-encompassing reading practice solution,” he added. “The logic was compelling. It just made so much sense.”

The pairing of the companies will support two core Renaissance goals: the continued growth of both Renaissance’s Star assessment suite and the growth of Accelerated Reader, Hamburger said.

“MyON fits perfectly into that strategy,” said Hamburger.

MyON will continue to provide over 6,000 quality titles from Capstone, a children’s publisher. In addition to its digital library, myON also provides myON News —  daily news articles written for students, one of a number of platforms that deliver content from media organizations to schools for instructional purposes.

Both companies have shown a strong interest in the international market, and they have had preliminary discussions about how they can work together in growing abroad, Hamburger said. Renaissance already sells its products in 70 countries. MyON, in addition to its work in the United States, has a presence in 20 nations, the Renaissance official said.

“We are thrilled to work alongside the team at Renaissance to evolve our products and provide children with ‘just right’ books that foster a passion for reading and continued academic growth,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON, in a statement.

Brekhus said that Renaissance’s Star assessments will boost myON’s ability to measure student progress, and give “teachers robust data and insights to improve student literacy outcomes.”

With the acquisition, Brekhus will join Renaissance’s executive leadership team, serving as president of myON at Renaissance. He will focus on product development and integrating the companies’ products.

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