Veritas Capital is bidding to take private Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co., the publisher of education materials and research, according to people familiar with the matter.
Veritas could merge Houghton Mifflin with its portfolio company Cambium Learning Group, said one of the people, both of whom asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. A final decision hasn’t been made and other bidders may emerge for the Boston-based company, they said.
Representatives for Houghton Mifflin and Veritas declined to comment.
Houghton Mifflin, whose roots as a publisher and bookseller date to 1832, is one of several companies that has benefited as it adjusted to the surge in remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s shares have almost tripled in the past year, giving it a market value of about $2.3 billion. Bloomberg News reported in January that Houghton Mifflin was working with an adviser to consider a sale.
Like other education companies, Houghton Mifflin has been pivoting from text books to programs that typically include online components. It now offers school programs including science, math and languages to more than 50 million students in 150 countries, according to its website.