Educational Testing Service, the Rosedale Road-based non-profit educational assessment and research organization, is acquiring Thomson Prometric (www.prometric.com), a Baltimore-based for-profit testing technology company with an outpost on Lenox Drive.
Prometric, as it will be known, is to be a wholly-owned for-profit ETS subsidiary when the deal closes, probably in the fall. Each company has approximately 3,000 employees, and no personnel changes are expected to take place, according to Frank Gatti, CFO of ETS.
Gatti says that last fall Thomson (www.thomson.com), the $7 billion multi-national information technology company that is currently in talks with Reuters about a possible merger, decided to shed its educational businesses. In August Thomson decided to sell Peterson’s, on Lenox Drive, to Nelnet.
The Princeton office of Thomson Prometric has its roots in an earlier for-profit arm of ETS, founded as the Chauncey Group in 1996 and reconfigured as Capstar. When it was sold to Thomson Prometric in 1995, about 100 employees moved off the ETS campus to share Peterson’s building on Lenox Drive.
ETS is Prometric’s largest customer for technology-based delivery of tests and assessments, Gatti says, accounting for some 25 percent of its business. Prometric delivers ETS’s TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test, the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) tests, and the Praxis teacher licensing assessments. Thomson Prometric delivers assessments directly to candidates via the Internet and through a global network of testing centers in 132 countries.
The acquisition made sense for ETS, says Gatti. “We will be much more vertically integrated,” he points out. “We can oversee quality, and this diversifies our revenue base.” While ETS’s customer base is primarily located in the United States, Prometric has contracts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia. While ETS’s test takers are mainly students, Prometric delivers most of its tests to businesspeople, professionals, government employees, and information technology workers. For the most part, says Gatti, Prometric does not draw up tests, but rather it uses technology to sign up test takers, enable them to take the exams, and deliver results to them.
Prometric has an extensive and diversified customer portfolio in the academic, professional, governmental, corporate and information technology markets.
Prometric’s more than 400 clients include the Association of American Medical Colleges, Johns Hopkins University, the College Board, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants.
The company has government contracts in Ireland, England, Saudi Arabia, and federal and state contracts in the United States. Clients in the technology market include IBM, Microsoft Learning, and Sun Microsystems.
ETS is acquiring Prometric for $435 million, pending regulatory approval. Prometric had annual revenues of $317 million in 2006. Gatti says that ETS’s board of directors unanimously approved the deal. It gives ETS increased financial stability, he says, adding that the company was already in excellent financial shape. The acquisition will involve borrowing, but it will go on Prometric’s balance sheet, he says.
The two companies will remain largely separate, says Gatti. Prometric’s headquarters will remain in Baltimore, and will retain its own management and HR and accounting departments. Its employees will continue to be Prometric employees, with their own benefits and retirement savings plans. The big financial benefit to ETS, he says, is that it will no longer be paying fees to Prometric to deliver its tests. In the future it is possible that the two companies will work together on delivering other tests, but quite possibly not the SAT or PSAT tests, which ETS develops for the College Board.
“It’s not a matter of technology,” says Gatti of delivery of the famed rite of passage tests for college bound students. “It’s a matter of logistics.” Prometric test takers, who are adults, take their tests at test centers, which tend to be open all day long, all year long. But the SAT is given seven times a year, and generally at high schools — 5,000 of them.
Could the SAT and PSAT be delivered over the Internet to laptop-toting students. Doing so would present no technological problems, says Gatti, but, he asks, “would there be a proctor in the room?”
Thomson Prometric, 2000 Lenox
Drive, Princeton Pike Corporate Center, Lawrenceville 08648-0001; 609-895-5000;Michael Brannick, president.
Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton 08541; 609-921-9000; fax, 609-734-5410. Kurt F. Landgraf, president. Home page: www.ets.org.
New in Town: Data Domain
Data Domain Inc., 245 Nassau Street, Princeton 08540; 609-924-8996; fax. Ben Zhu, chief research officer. Home page: www.datadomain.com.
Data Domain Inc., which provides storage appliances for disk-based backup and network-based disaster recovery, has opened an advanced development laboratory in Princeton with three full-time employees in addition to Ben Zhu, chief research officer, who is currently commuting. The company has signed a lease at Market Square Plaza (100 Canal Point Boulevard) for about 2,500 square feet; it is remodeling the space and expects to occupy it in October.
Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, the firm was founded in October, 2001, and has grown over the past year from 95 to 300 employees and has about 60 sales offices worldwide. Data Domain, which began shipping product in 2004, did an initial public offering on June 27 and its shares rose from the $20 per share opening to $24.95 on NASDAQ.
Data Domain’s technology reduces data to approximately one-thirtieth of its original size. Imagine a Power Point presentation that goes through several iterations. If the file is saved at each step, then the amount of data that needs to be backed up can quickly grow very large. Data Domain’s product reduces the data by saving to disk only unique data, using pointers to show how the original files can be reassembled.
The reduced size of the data makes disk-based storage, which is far more dependable than tape storage, cost effective. Although the basic technology has been around for 15 years, it has only become feasible due to today’s high processing speeds now available.
Data Domain was founded by Kai Li, who has been a professor of computer science at Princeton University since 1985, and Zhu, who has been the firm’s chief research officer since February of this year.
From January to September, 2001, Zhu was entrepreneur in residence at U.S. Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. He holds a bachelor of science in computer science and applied mathematics from the University of Rochester and a master of science in computer science from Johns Hopkins University.
Davol Inc., 1 Deer Park Drive, Suite E, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-964-1481; fax, 732-964-1100. Lawrence K. Korona, program manager product development. Home page: www.davol.com.
In April Davol Inc., a subsidiary of medical products firm C. R. Bard, Inc., moved into space owned by TyRx Pharma in Monmouth Junction.
Davol’s products focus on surgical specialties, including hernia repair, hemostasis, orthopedics, and laparoscopy. According to Bill McJames, vice president of product development at TyRx, the two companies signed a licensing agreement at the end of last year whereby TyRx is helping Davol to develop a product for their hernia mesh business that incorporates TyRx’s resorbable polymer technology.
Kaplan & Walker LLP, 100 Overlook, Second Floor, Princeton 08540; 609-375-2350; fax, 609-375-2699. Jeffrey Kaplan. Home page: www.kaplanwalker.com.
Kaplan & Walker LLP, attorneys with expertise in compliance and ethics, moved into offices in Princeton last year.
Casa Bella Design Build, 2277 Route 33, Suite 415, Hamilton 08690; 609-587-8788; fax, 609-587-8776. Lori Horowitz, office manager.
Casa Bella Design Build, a three-year-old interior design firm, has moved from 101 Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown to larger quarters in Hamilton. The firm has six employees.
AGS Benefits, 34 Chambers Street, Suite 210, Princeton 08540; 609-924-2420; fax, 609-924-2421. Jordan Gray, partner. Home page: www.agsbenefits.com.
AGS Benefits, an insurance and pension brokerage, has opened an office in Princeton. The firm, which also has offices in New York and Boston, administers benefit plans for over 300 companies ranging in size from two employees to thousands.
Gary Reba, who has a dental practice at Princeton Meadows in Plainsboro, pleaded guilty to entering the wrong dates on insurance claims but received no jail time. On June 28 Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa sentenced Reba to three years’ probation and a $75,000 fine.
The charges against Reba were third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree falsifying records. Reba had said that, if he had entered the correct dates, the patients involved would not have had dental-insurance coverage, or they would have exceeded the limits of their dental insurance for that year.
The investigators were Norma R. Evans, deputy attorney general, along with Scott Naismyth and Gina Lemanowicz. The insurance companies involved included Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey, Prudential, MetLife, and Aetna.
The prosecutor, Greta Gooden Brown, noted that anyone concerned about insurance cheating can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline 877-55-FRAUD or going to (www.NJInsuranceFraud.org). Those willing to identify themselves are, under state law, eligible to receive a cash award.
AdSEND/Vio Worldwide Inc., 101 Interchange Plaza, Suite 102, Cranbury 08512; 609-642-1100; fax, 609-409-3390. Rick Dool, CEO. Home page: www.adsend.com.
In a followup to its acquisition last December of the assets of AP AdSEND, Associated Press’s online advertising delivery and management division, the British company Vio Worldwide has opened a United States headquarters in Cranbury. Under the name AdSEND, the new office brings together Vio employees from 3 Becker Farm Road in Roseland, AP AdSEND staff from New York City and Cranbury, and some sales representatives from around the United States. Vio has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and France.
Through its British operation, Vio Worldwide offers products that streamline and brand digital supply chains. The new United States operation works with advertisers, their suppliers, and publishers to improve the workflow among them.
AdPortal, which comes out of Vio’s European business, provides an electronic portal where companies can drop off advertising, rather than sending an E-mail that might be too large or might be stopped by a firewall. For example, Time Inc. might have a portal where its advertisers can drop off an ad and indicate the desired size and select a specific publication; the AdPORTAL software checks to ensure that the ad fits the publication’s specifications and is the right file type. The location of the ad is tracked throughout the process, and both the publication and the sender know when it arrives.
Vio Worldwide is part of Leo Capital PLC, a $400 million public company based in the United Kingdom. CEO Rick Dool has a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Fordham University, a master of arts in strategic communications and leadership from Seton Hall University, and a master of science in management from Thomas Edison State College. He served in the Marine Corps in the early 1970s.
He started his career at AT&T in 1978 and headed the product management and marketing activities for the large business systems group.
Next he became chief executive officer of Ultimate Data Systems, a distribution software systems provider for the electrical and plumbing supply markets. He was also chief executive officer of LabVantage Solutions, a provider of software solutions for automating sample management for research and commercial laboratories. His next position was as chief executive officer of Liquent, a software firm specializing in regulatory publishing solutions for the life sciences market. Before joining Vio Worldwide, he led the life sciences practice for Coprindm, a software solutions provider.
Planned Parenthood, 2279 Route 33, Golden Crest Corporate Center, Suite 510, Hamilton 08690; 609-689-4964; fax, 609-587-0802. Xan Blake, chief executive officer. www.ppmercer.org.
Planned Parenthood Association of Mercer County has moved its Hamilton Clinic from 941 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road to 3,180 square feet at the Golden Crest Corporate Center, over twice the size of the former site.
The new space will be able to serve more patients and will be open six days, including nights and Saturdays, instead of four at the previous site. A “children’s only” section will provide a space for children to play and watch movies during their mothers’ appointments. The clinic offers screenings, pelvic and breast exams, birth control services, and the morning after pill.
Health Care First, 103 Morgan Lane, Suite 102, Plainsboro 08536; 609-356-1700; fax, 609-356-1701. David Lepping, executive director. www.hc1st.com.
Healthcare First, a medical communications firm, moved from a small office at 9 Davidson Avenue in Jamesburg to space of about 4,000 feet in Plainsboro. A startup medical communications firm of only two people in March, 2006, the company has grown to a staff of 12, including a medical director, program manager, writers, and account supervisors.
Healthcare First does medical education for doctors, in particular the programs offering the certified medical education credits that physicians must accumulate.
Guy J. Renzi & Associates, 2277 Route 33, Suite 410, Trenton 08690-1700; 609-989-9199; fax, 609-586-2424. Mark Renzi, president. www.renziassociates.com.
Guy J. Renzi & Associates has moved its court reporting business from 824 West Street to 2277 Route 33. The company was named for president Mark Renzi’s late father, who founded it 40 years ago.
Before taking over the business, Mark Renzi was a professional pilot, with certificates as an air transport pilot and a flight instructor. In the early 1990s he changed careers and entered the Cittone School of Court Reporting while working with his father to learn the business. He is a state certified shorthand reporter and holds a nationally recognized registered professional reporter certificate. He has a bachelor of science from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Hugh de Neufville Wynne, 91, on July 4. A former ExxonMobil executive, he was active in capital campaigns for the Class of ‘39 at Princeton University.
Anthony J. Maruca, 74, on July 7. He had been vice president for administration at Princeton University.
Nancee G. Sherman, 54, on July 8. She was employed at Princeton Public Library.