ProQuest is a well-known name in genealogy circles. The company's Information and Learning division has produced HeritageQuest Online for some years. This is the online database of U.S. census records, Revolutionary War pension applications, Freedmans' Bank records, PERSI, and more than 20,000 family and local history books online with every word searchable. The parent company recently sold the ProQuest Information and Learning division to CIG (Cambridge Information Group). You can read about that at http://tinyurl.com/yo8veq and even more background information may be found at http://tinyurl.com/ymkh7y.
CIG's purchase of ProQuest Information and Learning has closed. Due to restrictions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, no real work on the transition could begin until closing. PQIL and CSA are now beginning their merger and will be known as ProQuest CSA during the transition period. To customers, it should be "business as usual." The transition period should be invisible to them. All the present online databases should continue to be available.
Here is the announcement from the Cambridge Information Group:
CAMBRIDGE INFORMATION GROUP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF PROQUEST INFORMATION AND LEARNING
BETHESDA, MARYLAND - February 12, 2007 -- Cambridge Information Group (CIG) closed today its previously announced transaction with ProQuest Company (NYSE: PQE) and acquired ProQuest Information and Learning. CIG will combine its Bethesda, Maryland-based CSA subsidiary with Ann Arbor, Michigan based ProQuest Information and Learning to create a new, privately held independent company, ProQuestCSA.
The transaction, valued at $222 million, was backed by a minority equity investment in ProQuestCSA from ABRY Partners, LLC. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to CIG and ABRY with respect to the acquisition. Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and Goldman, Sachs Credit Partners L.P. arranged the financing for the transaction.
ProQuestCSA will serve a combined customer base of more than 30,000 institutional customers and their users, providing them with access to high-quality information resources. The company will continue operations in both Ann Arbor and Bethesda.
CIG President Andrew M. Snyder said, "We are excited to welcome the employees and customers of ProQuest Information and Learning. ProQuestCSA will continue to serve its existing customers and users, and will begin pursuing a combined vision of offering an unparalleled information resource to the community of libraries, researchers, faculty and students."
Marty Kahn will join ProQuestCSA as the new CEO. Kahn was the former chairman of business and financial information aggregator OneSource Information Services and before that he served as chairman of Ovid Technologies, Inc., an aggregator of medical and scientific databases and full-text journal articles. Serving as president of the new company is Matt Dunie, who previously served as president of CSA.
ABRY Partner Erik Brooks, said, "We are delighted to partner with CIG and support their strategic acquisition of ProQuest Information and Learning. We have extensive experience investing in the information sector and look forward to working with CIG to grow and expand ProquestCSA's presence in the library market. We are confident that the newly merged company will lead the online information marketplace with a customer-centric focus and an incomparable level of service."
About Cambridge Information Group
Cambridge Information Group (CIG) is a privately owned group of information services companies and educational institutions located around the world. CIG's operating companies include: ProQuestCSA, R.R. Bowker, RefWorks and the Sotheby's Institute of Art. CIG is also the largest shareholder of Navtech, Inc. (Nasdaq: NAVH.OB).