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Books 24x7 Sold?
- To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Books 24x7 Sold?
- From: Ann Okerson <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 19:33:42 -0500 (EST)
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- Sender: email@example.com
Of possible interest to this list: e-book happenings. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 11:32 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Books 24x7 Sold Business Wire _____ SkillSoft Agrees to Acquire Books24X7.com-Expands Product Offering in IT And Business Skills e-Learning Content-- --Transaction Expected To Be Accretive To FY 2003 Results-- --Individualized Digital Referenceware Product Puts the Power of the Web's Finest Technical Reference Library at Your Fingertips- _____ Story Filed: Friday, December 07, 2001 6:30 AM EST NASHUA, N.H., Dec 7, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SkillSoft Corporation (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leader in critical business skill e-Learning solutions for Global 2000 companies, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Books24x7.com, Inc., based in Norwood, MA, for a fixed number of shares and fixed amount of cash valued at approximately $32.4 million (based on the closing price of SkillSoft common stock on December 6, 2001, at $20.98 per share). Approximately 80% of the purchase price is being paid in the form of SkillSoft common stock, with the balance being paid in cash. The Company anticipates closing the transaction during the 2002 fiscal fourth quarter ending January 31, 2002. Excluding non-recurring deal expenses and the impact of any amortization of purchased intangibles, the Company expects the acquisition to have a neutral effect on earnings per share in the current quarter and to be accretive to earnings per share in the fiscal year ending January 31, 2003. Books24x7.com is a leading provider of web-based digital technical and business reference content, containing 1700+ digitized "best-of-breed" reference books, journals, research reports and documentation. Books24x7's hosted web-based platform enables users to search, browse, read and collaborate with vast professional "Referenceware" libraries assembled through its relationships with more than 65 of the world's top IT and business publishers, such as Amacom, Harvard Business School Press, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft Press, MIT Press, Sybex, and Wiley. Prominent customers that have adopted Books24x7 solutions include: Bank of America, Lockheed-Martin and Hewlett-Packard. "We believe the acquisition of Books24x7.com content, after integration into SkillSoft's platform and coupled with other recently acquired IT content, will greatly increase our value proposition to our Global 2000 clients. This transaction also complements our IT strategy which we expect will create additional revenue opportunities for SkillSoft in the latter part of fiscal year 2003," commented Chuck Moran, Chairman, President and CEO. "This catalog of material complements our earlier acquisition in IT content, and further extends our product line, creating an attractive offering of IT and business skills that we feel is a competitive advantage. Leveraging our existing direct sales force, we aim to accelerate Books24x7's market penetration and bring added value to our present and prospective customer base. This represents another major step in our goal to expand our product offering and a key milestone in our continuing goal to develop comprehensive, integrated e-learning solutions for our global customers." SkillSoft also announced that in connection with this acquisition, Jerry Nine, currently Vice President of Sales and Marketing, is being promoted to the position of Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing and General Manager, Books24x7 Group. Mr. Nine will continue to have overall responsibility for the Company's sales and marketing efforts, as well as management responsibility for the newly acquired group. In related moves, the Company also announced that Lee Ritze is being promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Professional Services, and that Doug King is being promoted to Vice President of North American Sales. Both will continue to report to Mr. Nine. Outlook The Company reaffirms its revenue outlook of $14.7 to $15.1 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ending January 31, 2002. The Company also maintains its earnings guidance of $0.05 to $0.06 per diluted share for the same period. The share count at January 31, 2002 is expected to be in the 17.5 to 17.7 million-share range. The Company is revising upward its full fiscal year 2003 (ending January 31, 2003) financial guidance. The prior guidance for revenue of $67 to $69 million is being increased to $72 to $74 million, representing a revenue increase in the second half of fiscal 2003 leveraging SkillSoft's direct sales force. Quarterly revenue distribution for 2003, Q1 to Q4, is targeted at 18%, 20%, 27%, 35% of the annual range, respectively. For the full year 2003, the Company anticipates earnings to be between $0.59 to $0.61 per diluted share, an increase of $0.02 per share from prior guidance. This $0.02 per share increase will be realized in the second half of fiscal 2003 while the first half will be neutral. Operating income, which includes deferred compensation charges, is targeted to be in the range of $0.51 to $0.53 per share. Interest income on cash balances is expected to be approximately $0.08 per share. Quarterly basic EPS targets are, Q1 to Q4, $0.02, $0.06, $0.19 to $0.20 and $0.32 to $0.33 respectively. The per diluted share count ending January 31,2003 is expected to be in the range of 18.5 to 18.7 million shares. The Company's outlook for both fiscal fourth quarter 2002 and full year fiscal 2003 excludes all non-recurring deal expenses and the impact of any amortization of purchased intangibles. Conference call SkillSoft will be hosting a conference call to discuss the acquisition on Friday, December 7, 2001, at 11:00 AM EST. To participate in the conference call, local and international callers can dial 212-748-2790. A replay is available approximately one hour after the call until 11:00 a.m. EST on December 12, 2001. The replay number is 858-812-6440, passcode: 20077064. The conference call will also be available via the Internet by accessing the SkillSoft web site at www.SkillSoft.com <http://www.SkillSoft.com> or www.vcall.com <http://www.vcall.com>. Please go to the Investor Relations area and click on the link to the audio broadcast. We recommend going to the website at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software. About Books24x7.com, Inc. Founded in 1994, Books24x7.com, Inc. offers next generation digital reference material, based on established relationships with more than 65 leading publishers of information technology and business reference books. This includes, in the technical publishing arena, imprints like Macmillan Computer Publishing, O'Reilly, Osborne/McGraw Hill, Que, Sams and Sybex. In the business field, prominent publishing partners include AMACOM, ASTD Press, Berrett-Koehler, John Wiley, MIT Press, Oxford University Press and others. Books24x7 is aligned with Fatbrain (a BarnesandNoble.com company) as its strategic partner for fulfillment of physical book orders. Prominent customers that have adopted Books24x7 solutions include: Bank of America, Lockheed-Martin and Hewlett-Packard. About SkillSoft With more than 2 million users under contract, SkillSoft is a leading provider of e-Learning solutions for Global 2000 companies. SkillSoft courses cover a broad variety of critical professional and business skills; courses and support services are specifically designed to reap the benefits offered by the Internet and Web-based customer environments. This design enables SkillSoft users to access needed learning resources, with the required specificity or breadth-any time and from any location with access to the Internet. Customers receive comprehensive learning and performance support solutions for their workforce through the SkillSoft library, comprised of more than 1000 courseware products for global business markets. The library also includes more than 12,000 learning objects, 2,500 job aids, 1000 SkillBriefs and over 2,750 hours of instruction. The SkillSoft library encompasses a wide array of business skills, such as management, leadership, communication, project management and customer service, as well as business subjects such as e-commerce, finance, marketing, sales, and strategy. SkillSoft complements its course library with SkillPort, an e-Learning management platform that offers rapid implementation at a cost- efficient price point. SkillPort gives users control over their own learning environments and offers tracking and reporting capabilities. SkillSoft also recently introduced SkillSimulations, Web-based simulations designed to reinforce skills newly acquired through SkillSoft courses. Additional information about SkillSoft is available by calling (603)324-3000 or visiting www.skillsoft.com <http://www.skillsoft.com>. SkillSoft, SkillPort, RolePlay, Search-and-Learn, and SkillSimulations are trademarks of SkillSoft Corporation. All brand names, trademarks, or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders. This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results encompassed within the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking financial information provided by the Company in this press release represents the Company's estimates as of December 6, 2001. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's estimates to change. However, while the Company may elect to update this forward-looking financial information at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. This forward-looking information should not be relied upon as representing the Company's estimates of its future financial performance as of any date subsequent to the date of this release. CONTACT: SkillSoft Corporation Tom McDonald, 603/324-3000, x232 or INVESTOR CONTACTS: Morgen-Walke Associates, Inc. Corey Cutler/Michael Polyviou, 212/850-5600 Portions of above Copyright (c) 1997-2001, Northern Light Technology, LLC. All rights reserved. Rick Lugg R2 Consulting 63 Woodwell's Garrison Contoocook, NH 03229 e: firstname.lastname@example.org v: 603-746-5991 f: 603-746-6052 w: www.ebookmap.net