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Rosetta Stone to acquire children literacy technology company

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Language learning technology company Rosetta Stone Inc. has agreed to acquire a cloud-based children’s literacy technology company for $22.5 million.

Rosetta Stone, which is headquartered in Arlington, will pay cash for Boston-based Lexia Learning Systems Inc. The acquisition is Rosetta Stone’s first expansion beyond language learning.

The company said it plans to grow its K-12 business. It plans to leverage Lexia’s expertise in children’s reading to deepen its engagement with schools and deliver its digital literacy solutions to young consumers in the U.S. and international markets.

Lexia’s English reading products are used in more than 14,000 schools and by more than 1 million students online.

"This acquisition marks a major step forward in Rosetta Stone's strategy to strengthen our leadership position in the use of technology in education,"  Rosetta Stone President and CEO Steve Swad said in a statement. "Reading represents a natural adjacency to language learning, and Lexia enables us to expand into this important market with leading-edge products celebrated for their effectiveness by educators and parents.”

Rosetta said that later this year it plans to test the children’s market on the consumer side. Rosetta Stone’s language learning programs are used in more than 20,000 schools around the world.

Lexia is the second acquisition by Rosetta Stone in 2013. In April, the company purchased Livemocha, one of the world's largest online language-learning communities, for $8.5 million.

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