US test prep co Kaplan to acquire Israel's Kidum

Kidum provides test preparation for Israeli high school exit exams, university admissions exams, and more.

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, a division of Kaplan Inc. of the Washington Post group (NYSE: WPO) today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the Kidum Group, the leading provider of test preparation services in Israel, from Kidum chairman Shai Reshef.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Kaplan, which had 2004 revenue of more than $1.1 billion, is an educational services provider that offers higher education, professional training, test preparation, services for K-12 schools and after-school learning programs. Based in New York, Kaplan has operations worldwide, including recent expansions in Europe and Asia.

Kidum, founded in 1981, was among the first in Israel's test preparation market in Israel and today has 48 centers across the country, in key markets including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beersheba and Haifa. Through four subsidiaries -- Kidum Test Prep, Lachman Test Prep, Publishing House and Wall Street Institute School of English -- Kidum provides test preparation for Israeli high school exit and university admissions exams, English language study programs and prep courses for the US Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Reshef, who is the sole shareholder of the Kidum Group, joined Kidum in 1989 as its CEO and has been serving as its chairman in the past few years.

For Kaplan, the acquisition of Kidum is the latest in a series of overseas acquisitions. In 2003, Kaplan acquired The Financial Training Company, a leading provider of test preparation services for accounting and financial service professionals in the UK, and has since acquired additional businesses in Europe and Asia.

"As the demand for test preparation services rises and Kaplan seeks to expand its scope of services worldwide, we see Kidum as an ideal partner," said Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions president John Polstein. "Kidum is a first-class operation and a terrific organizational fit with Kaplan. We look forward to working with Kidum's management."

Reshef said, "It is a great achievement for Kidum to join Kaplan, the largest test prep company in the world. It is rare to find a company which is operating in the same market and is so similar in its attitude toward its employees and students. Kaplan will enable Kidum to maintain and develop its unique assets."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on Wednesday, August 03, 2005

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