Gores Tech Passes Education Assets –

Los Angeles-based Gores Technology Group this month sold off one more piece of The Learning Company. The group divested the education assets in a sale to Riverdeep Interactive Learning, a developer of Web-based education solutions.

Riverdeep, based in Dublin, Ireland and Cambridge, Mass., will pay Gores $40 million in stock and will assume $20 million in liabilities in the form of inter-company debt, for all the education assets.

Included in the assets divested to Riverdeep are all of The Learning Company’s education software brands such as Reader Rabbit, Carmen Sandiego, ClueFinders, Oregon Trail, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and Zoombinis. Additionally, Riverdeep will acquire the development and distribution resources of the education assets.

Gore Technology purchased The Learning Company from Mattel in October 2000 and received much acclaim for turning the company from financial disaster to profitable within 75 days.

The turnaround specialists agreed to divest The Learning Company’s entertainment assets shortly after taking the company profitable with a sale to Ubi Soft Entertainment. The sale was completed in early spring.

Gores continues to hold the productivity and e-commerce division, named Broderbund , which produces software such as Print Shop and Print Master.

Gores has no immediate plans for other divestitures. “We’re satisfied with running the business, but that doesn’t mean that if an opportunity came along that was good for us and good for the business we wouldn’t consider it,” said James Bailey, a group president at the firm.

The terms of the agreement with Riverdeep sets up distribution channels to benefit all parties. Riverdeep will distribute all Broderbund’s productivity products to schools in North America, while Broderbund will distribute all Riverdeep/TLC products into worldwide retail.