Private Equity Firms To Buy SkillSoft for $1.1 Billion
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Friday, 12 February 2010
By Michael Eggebrecht
SkillSoft, a Dublin-based provider of on-demand corporate training software, announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of private equity firms in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.
Berkshire Partners, Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital Partners plan to pay $10.80 for each SkillSoft American Depositary Share -- a 9.6 percent premium over the Irish company’s closing price on Thursday -- under the agreement, which has been approved by SkillSoft’s board of directors.
A software-as-a-service provider founded in 1989, SkillSoft offers global enterprises, government and education organizations and small and medium-sized businesses e-learning software to develop business, management and IT skills. The company will continue to be based in Dublin and remain under the leadership of CEO Chuck Moran.
In a statement, Moran called the transaction “an endorsement of SkillSoft's leadership and success, which has been achieved through the commitment of a dedicated team over many years.”
In November, SkillSoft beat expectations by reporting $80.4 million in third-quarter revenues, though that was off 3 percent from $83.1 million in the same period last year. Customers’ budgetary restraints have been a concern for SkillSoft throughout the recession.
On the company’s third-quarter earnings call , Moran noted that “If a company is struggling and … having difficulty, they are probably going to watch all their dollars, training included.” He added, however, that contract renewal rates had been “surprisingly good” during the quarter.
Earlier this week, the company unveiled a new package, SkillSoft Leadership Advantage, designed to help busy executives develop their leadership skills “while still being productive in their daily roles.” The offering includes videos, case studies and interactive sessions.
“SkillSoft Leadership Advantage delivers a myriad of concise, highly interactive sessions that make today's and tomorrow's business leaders better equipped to handle various challenges,” said John Ambrose, SVP of strategy, corporate development and emerging business. “This new offering continues to round out our comprehensive offerings and ensure executives stay ahead of the curve as they develop in their careers.”
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