Cengage is an educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education, K-12, professional, and library markets worldwide. It has operations in more than 20 countries around the world.
The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and has approximately 5,000 employees worldwide across 20 countries. It was headquartered at its Stamford, Connecticut office until April 2014.
Gale is Cengage's library reference arm and specializes in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses. The company creates and maintains databases that are published online, in print, as e-books and in microform.
Cengage offers print and digital textbooks, instructor supplements, online reference databases, distance learning courses, test preparation materials, corporate training courses, career assessment tools, materials for specific academic disciplines, and custom solutions.
On December 5, 2017, Cengage announced Cengage Unlimited, a subscription service that allows students to pay for access to the company's entire digital higher education catalog by the semester or year, rather than buying individual textbooks. It is planned to be available by summer 2018, but is being marketed to students, faculty and institutions immediately.
Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, which owned the Wadsworth Publishing imprint, was created out of a restructuring of International Thomson Publishing. It was announced on October 25, 2006 that Thomson Learning would be offered for sale by the Thomson Corporation, with an estimated value of up to US$5 billion. The company was bought by a private equity consortium consisting of Apax Partners and OMERS Capital Partners for US$7.75 billion, and the name was changed to Cengage Learning on 24 July 2007. In 2011, Cengage Learning acquired the National Geographic Society's school publishing unit, and combined this school business with the Global ELT business to create and launch the National Geographic Learning brand. The global brand combined the former Cengage Learning ELT and National Geographic School Publishing imprints and sub-brands under one unified identity.
In September 2013 David Shaffer retired as chairman of the company. He had previously been executive vice president of The Thomson Corporation from 2005 to 2006, and then President and CEO of both Thomson Publishing International and Thomson Learning.
The company had acquired a large amount of debt through the course of its initial buyout and subsequent acquisitions, and had seen declining revenue through a shrinking market for paper textbooks. Cengage Learning filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on July 2, 2013. Cengage Learning emerged from bankruptcy on April 1, 2014, eliminating approximately $4 billion of its funded debt and securing $1.75 billion in exit financing. Post-bankruptcy, the company decided to focus on developing digital study guides and other educational supplements, as well as hard-copy textbooks.
In January 2015 they announced expansion of their LearnLaunch Accelerator program, which provides seed funding and intensive coaching to promising startups, to the University of Chihuahua in Mexico.
In November 2016, Cengage Learning rebranded as simply Cengage and rolled out a new branding scheme that highlights its student-centered approach.
In addition to organic growth, Cengage has expanded through acquisitions within the publishing industry. Notable acquisitions include:
|Date of acquisition announced||Asset acquired||Industry|
|1 March 2004||Education to Go||Online continuing education courses|
|16 May 2008||PAL Publications||Professional reference series|
|2 June 2008||Houghton Mifflin College Division||Publishing for 2- and 4-year colleges|
|17 July 2008||Gatlin Education Services||Web-based training for education providers|
|16 December 2008||HighBeam Research||Paid search engine of newspapers and magazines|
|1 August 2011||National Geographic School Publishing||Publishing for K-12 schools|
|September 2015||Learning Objects, Inc||Learning management systems and adaptive education tools|
|October 2015||Pathbrite, Inc||ePortfolio services for learning, reflection, and career advancement|
|September 2016||WebAssign||Online instructional application for faculty and students|
Since 2015, South-Western products have been branded as Cengage Learning.
Cengage Unlimited, a SaaS solution, will be available in 2018.
In 2016, based on its 2015 revenues, Publishers Weekly ranked the company 14 out of 57 publishers worldwide, a decline of three slots from the previous year. The list includes both trade and educational publishers.