Global Knowledge confirms buy

STAFF WRITERAugust 13, 2009 

Corporate tech-training company Global Knowledge confirmed it won a bidding auction to buy Canada's leading corporate training firm, Nexient Learning, a business whose aggressive expansion left it with too much debt to withstand the recession.

Nexient recently filed for the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the sale requires court approval. The deal is expected to be finalized "within the next two weeks, if not sooner," said Douglas Lawson, chief financial officer at Nexient.

Nexient has about 220 employees and generated $55.2 million in revenue last year by providing courses to more than 100,000 trainees at 12 training sites across Canada. The deal gives Cary-based Global Knowledge a chance to take advantage of the weaker market to expand its reach. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.

"We view the Canadian training marketplace as having significant growth potential, and the chance to acquire Nexient's operations presented a rare opportunity to expand in this important market," Global Knowledge CEO Brian Branson said in a prepared statement.

Branson, who was meeting with Nexient employees in Canada, had no immediate comment.

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