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Books 24x7 Sold?

Of possible interest to this list:  e-book happenings.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:  owner-ebooks-l@darkstar.rsa.lib.il.us
Sent:  Friday, December 07, 2001 11:32 AM
To:  ebooks-l@darkstar.rsa.lib.il.us
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.


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

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


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:   rick@r2consulting.org
v:   603-746-5991
f:    603-746-6052
w:  www.ebookmap.net