Times Mirror Co. announced Monday that it intends to pay more than $100 million in cash for a Xerox Corp. subsidiary that sells management and sales training programs.
The sale of Xerox Learning Systems, which is based in Stamford, Conn., is part of Xerox's previously announced plan to sell its six publishing units for a total cash price that it said will exceed $500 million.
Xerox, whose corporate headquarters also are in Stamford, said it is shedding its publishing units because it is unwilling to give the companies the funding they need to grow. It said cash from the sales will be used to help retire $2.3 billion in debt and will free the giant copying machine company to focus resources on its basic business of selling office equipment and financial services.
Wall Street analysts greeted the proposed sale of the group as a good move for Xerox.
Times Mirror, the Los Angeles-based communications company that publishes the Los Angeles Times and seven other newspapers, said it has signed a letter of intent to buy Xerox Learning Systems. It said it expects the sale to be completed by late summer.
Xerox Learning Systems makes printed texts and video and audio tapes that are used by companies to train sales staff and managers. Times Mirror said the new unit will fit in well with its professional book publishing segment, which accounted for 9% of Times Mirror's 1984 revenues of $2.8 billion.
Neither Times Mirror nor Xerox would disclose details of Xerox Learning Systems' financial performance, but both companies said the division has been profitable.
Times Mirror said it will drop "Xerox" from the newly purchased unit's title but would not discuss what the division's new name will be.
In addition to the sale of Xerox Learning Systems, Xerox said it has signed letters of intent in the sale of five other companies. Xerox will have to reach final agreements with the prospective buyers, and the transactions need approval from the directors of all companies involved.
Xerox said it has agreed to sell R. R. Bowker Co. of New York, University Microfilms International of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Autex Systems of Wellesley, Mass., to the U.S. holding company of International Thomson Organization Ltd.
Gulf & Western Industries has agreed to acquire Ginn & Co. of Lexington Mass, and the Field Corp. has agreed to purchase Xerox Education Publications of Middletown, Conn.