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Blackboard recently announced that it will spend $33 million in cash to acquire privately held Saf-T-Net Inc., which produces an alert system for child safety. Saf-T-Net's system sends out emergency messages for parents and others caring for children via phone calls, e-mail and text messages.

The acquisition broadens Blackboard's ability to provide customers with mass notification, said CEO Michael Chasen. He expects the new system to add to earnings beginning next year.

Blackboard expects the deal to close in late March, so it won't affect first-quarter results. However, it expects it to add $5.5 million to 2010 revenue and reduce earnings by 9 cents per share, or 5 cents per share excluding one-time charges.
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