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Industry Consolidation Continues; Kaplan IT Learning Acquires Atlantic Link

by Anne Derryberry

March 3, 2010


by Anne Derryberry

March 3, 2010

Solutions provider Kaplan IT Learning has acquired rapid e-Learning tool provider Atlantic Link, Inc.

Kaplan IT Learning announced yesterday that its acquisition of Atlantic Link, Inc. and Atlantic Link Ltd. is complete. The transaction unites a leading provider of e-learning solutions for IT skills development, assessment and certification (Kaplan IT) and a leading provider of rapid e-learning tools (Atlantic Link) by integrating all products into the Kaplan IT Learning suite of products.

The move “will allow Kaplan to expand our market presence globally,” said Brian Sholly, President of Atlanta-based Kaplan IT Learning; Atlantic Link is headquartered in Nottingham, England.

While Kaplan IT Learning’s focus has been on the IT sector, Atlantic Link products and clientele cross market sectors. “Our clients are very interested in creating professional training lessons for soft skills as well as IT application training, so bringing Atlantic Link on Board will help meet their needs,” said Sholly.

In reply to questions from Learning Solutions about brand transition strategy, Scott Mulka, Marketing Manager for Kaplan, provided this statement:

“Atlantic Link has created strong brand awareness in the industry as a provider of award-winning rapid e-Learning authoring tools and we certainly plan to leverage that here at Kaplan. The acquisition of Atlantic Link coupled with Kaplan’s current e-Learning solutions provides a comprehensive suite of best-in-breed e-Learning software tools to enable companies and organizations to rapidly develop and deploy high quality solutions for everything from e-Learning content to complex technical training. Even though we have not made final decisions on our brand transition strategy, we certainly plan to leverage the global brand presence of Kaplan in the development of a suite of e-Learning solutions to help organizations achieve their training objectives.”

“With Kaplan's financial strength and credibility in the training and academic world, our clients will gain access to a broader range of current and future products and services,” Mulka continued. “The integration of Atlantic Link's complementary portfolio into the Kaplan IT Learning suite of products will allow clients to benefit from a complete solution of learning tools, with the strength and reassurance of the Kaplan brand behind them.”

Asked about staff consolidations, Mulka stated, “Atlantic Link operations will be expanded in both England and the US as we leverage Kaplan IT Learning’s more extensive distribution network.  We will now have offices in Atlanta, Reading, Nottingham and Cape Town, SA.  We are retaining Atlantic Link employees as they will play a critical role in future success of the combined organization.”

The Kaplan/Atlantic Link transaction is the third major consolidation announced for the e-learning industry since the beginning of 2010, and the fourth industry shake-up for the same period.

Kaplan IT Learning is a division of education services provider Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).

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Wonder if Kaplan realizes the most valuable asset they got with Atlantic Link is their Mobile e-learning. That is the way of the future with more having access via phone, than have access to computer browser.
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