SkillSoft Completes Acquisition of NETg
<strong>Nashua, N.H. — May 15</strong><br />SkillSoft PLC, a provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to midsized businesses, has completed the acquisition of NETg from The Thomson Corp. for about $270 million in cash, subject to customary post-closing adjustments.<br /><br />The combined entity will offer a robust multi-modal solution that includes online courses, simulations, video programs and digitized books, as well as complementary learning technologies.<br /><br />The acquisition supports SkillSoft's mission to deliver the most comprehensive and highest-quality learning solutions and positions the company to best serve the demands of this growing marketplace.<br /><br />SkillSoft previously announced its execution of a definitive agreement to acquire NETg from The Thomson Corp. on Oct. 25, 2006.<br /><br />"The acquisition of NETg from The Thomson Corp. will result in clear benefits that we believe will create substantial long-term customer and shareholder value," said Chuck Moran, SkillSoft president, chief executive officer and chairman. "By significantly expanding our customer base and the products we offer, we will be able to devote more funding and resources to the research and development of new product areas. This further strengthens SkillSoft's ability to deliver on our mission of connected learning to our many clients around the world."<br /><br />With the addition of more than 1,000 selected NETg course titles, covering subjects that have not been addressed by SkillSoft's pre-existing courseware library, SkillSoft will now offer more than 6,000 e-learning courses in 19 languages; more than 14,000 unabridged IT and business books, summaries and executive reports; and more than 400 Leadership Development Channel video programs.<br /><br />SkillSoft also will be incorporating the NETg virtual instructor-led training solutions under the name of SkillSoft Live Learning.<br /><br />SkillSoft plans to support the NETg content on its flagship learning management system SkillPort and intends to integrate SkillSoft content with the major NETg learning management platforms.<br /><br />These product integration efforts will enable each customer base to receive timely access to the content offered by both companies while SkillSoft executes toward its long-term goal of offering a single unified LMS platform.<br /><br />Both integration efforts are expected to be completed in SkillSoft's third quarter of the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2008.<br /><br />With the requisite critical mass and scale to ensure continuous innovation and comprehensive e-learning solutions on a global basis, SkillSoft is positioned to address a wide range of training needs for functional areas across its customers' organizations.<br /><br />The company now has an extensive customer-facing organization and a combined customer base of more than 3,000 organizations.<br /><br />The purchase price reflects a pre-closing adjustment to the original $285 million price based on factors described in the definitive agreement.<br /><br />SkillSoft's existing senior management team will continue in their current roles under Moran's leadership.<br /><br />Credit Suisse acted as financial adviser to SkillSoft on the transaction. WilmerHale provided legal counsel to SkillSoft on the transaction.