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Blackbaud Expands K-12 Reach Acquiring Smart Tuition

Blackbaud continues to expand into the K-12 private school market announcing the acquisition of Smart Tuition for $190 million. It’s the largest of three acquisitions for the Charleston, S.C.-based software and service provider to nonprofits since hiring a new president and CEO less than two years ago.

Smart Tuition provides of payment software and services for private schools and parents. The product suite includes Smart Tuition, Smart Aid and Smart for Dioceses and serves thousands of schools and more than 300,000 families.

Blackbaud will acquire all outstanding equity interests of Smart Tuition for $190 million with cash on hand and borrowings under its existing credit facility. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days.

The acquisition allows Blackbaud to “better and more completely serve the K-12 private school community with innovative solutions that help manage and connect information, streamline internal processes and improve the family experience,” Blackbaud President and CEO Mike Gianoni said in a press release announcing the deal. “This also expands Blackbaud’s addressable market into the high-demand tuition management area, which includes payments beyond our traditional solutions and typically accounts for more than 80 percent of a private school’s revenue,” he said.

The acquisition expands Blackbaud’s footprint into the tuition management market and positions the company to offer more comprehensive solutions to K-12 private schools.

It is the third acquisition for Blackbaud – totaling $385 million – since Gianoni started his tenure as president and CEO in January 2014. The Charleston, S.C.-based firm spent $160 million in September 2014 to buy MicroEdge, which offers donor-advised funds services and foundation management, and $35 million for New Hampshire-based Whipple Hill Communications in June 2014.

For more than 25 years, Woodbridge, N.J.-based Smart Tuition has focused exclusively on financial solutions that help schools improve back-office processes, enhance communication with parents, and eliminate efficiencies with solutions that support tuition and financial aid management.

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