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September 7, 2001 | From Times Wire Services
Irish education software company Riverdeep Group agreed Thursday to buy the educational assets of Learning Co., whose brands include Reader Rabbit, Carmen Sandiego and the Mavis Beacon typing series, for $40 million in stock. Riverdeep also will assume $20 million in debt with the purchase from Los Angeles-based Gores Technology Group, a closely held buyout firm. Gores acquired Learning Co. about a year ago for almost nothing from Mattel Inc., which paid $3.8 billion for the company in 1998.
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BUSINESS
December 6, 2002 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Mattel Inc. on Thursday closed the books on what has been called one of the worst acquisitions in corporate history, announcing a $122-million settlement with shareholders over its ill-fated purchase of Learning Co. The El Segundo-based toy maker said it would take a $25.5-million pretax charge in the fourth quarter to cover legal fees and an uninsured portion of the settlement, with the balance to be paid by insurers. Mattel's settlement ranks No.
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BUSINESS
September 12, 1998 | Bloomberg News
Learning Co., the No. 1 education software maker, said it will cut 500 jobs and shut a California plant of its newly acquired Broderbund Software Inc. unit to reduce expenses by $50 million a year. Broderbund makes the best-selling computer fantasy game "Myst." The plant in Petaluma, Calif., will be shut in November, while various Broderbund offices in Novato, Calif., will be consolidated into one. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which completed its acquisition of Broderbund on Aug.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2001 | From Times Wire Services
Irish education software company Riverdeep Group agreed Thursday to buy the educational assets of Learning Co., whose brands include Reader Rabbit, Carmen Sandiego and the Mavis Beacon typing series, for $40 million in stock. Riverdeep also will assume $20 million in debt with the purchase from Los Angeles-based Gores Technology Group, a closely held buyout firm. Gores acquired Learning Co. about a year ago for almost nothing from Mattel Inc., which paid $3.8 billion for the company in 1998.
BUSINESS
June 23, 1998 | From Bloomberg News
Learning Co., the No. 1 educational software maker, said Monday that it will buy rival Broderbund Software Inc. for $420 million in stock, giving it the best-selling fantasy game "Myst" and geography game "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Learning Co., formerly SoftKey International, battled Novato, Calif.-based Broderbund in late 1995, when it trumped Broderbund's bid to buy the old Learning Co. SoftKey won the war and took the Learning Co. name in 1996.
BUSINESS
August 1, 1995 | AMY HARMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In what would be the biggest merger to date in the exploding educational software industry, Broderbund Software Inc. and Learning Co. said Monday that they plan to combine the two firms in a deal valued at $440 million. Novato, Calif.-based Broderbund has long dominated the consumer educational software market with "edutainment" products such as its Living Books and Carmen Sandiego series, but the firm has been looking for a partner to broaden its reach into the lucrative school market.
BUSINESS
September 29, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN
Mattel Inc., anxious to unload its disastrous Learning Co. division even at a giveaway price, worked late into the night Thursday trying to make a deal with one of two small investment firms, according to sources. An announcement of a sale of Mattel's interactive division, which could come as early as today, is likely to include news of a major financial restructuring at the El Segundo-based toy company, sources said.
BUSINESS
December 5, 1995 | From Reuters
SoftKey International Inc. raised its hostile takeover bid Monday for computer software maker Learning Co. to about $606 million, topping a friendly offer by Broderbund Software Inc. by about 8%. SoftKey, which also raised the rhetoric in its battle with Broderbund, said it is offering to buy slightly more than 8.59 million shares of Learning Co. for $65 a share in cash and will swap its stock for any remaining Learning Co. shares.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mattel Inc. said Monday it is trying to sell its troubled Learning Co. operations, which a year ago cost the company $3.6 billion to acquire and two months ago cost its chief executive, Jill Barad, her job. The ailing maker of educational software could fetch as little as $200 million, only about 5% of what Mattel paid for the Bay Area company, and possibly less than what Learning Co. has lost since joining Mattel, one Wall Street analyst estimated.
BUSINESS
December 8, 1995 | JULIE PITTA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ending an often-nasty five-week takeover battle, SoftKey International Inc. on Thursday overcame rival Broderbund Software Inc. and reached an agreement to acquire educational software maker Learning Co. for $606 million. SoftKey's successful bid, combined with its earlier acquisition of Minnesota Educational Computing, makes it the largest company in the fast-growing educational software market. Learning Co.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2001 | From Times Wire Services
The buyout firm that acquired troubled Learning Co. from toy giant Mattel Inc. last year said Monday that the software maker is now in the black and will generate "material" profit in 2001. Gores Technology Group announced it would buy Learning Co. from Mattel five months ago as the unit was losing $1.5 million per day. Mattel bought Learning Co. in 1999 for $3.5 billion, but virtually gave the unit to Gores in exchange for a share of future profit after Learning Co.
BUSINESS
September 30, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mattel Inc. executives announced Friday that they finally found a way to unload one of the worst purchases in American corporate history. But instead of selling the Learning Co. division, for which Mattel paid $3.5 billion a year ago, Mattel opted to give it away. During an early-morning call with investors and financial analysts, Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert said small Los Angeles-based investment firm Gores Technology Group will take software maker Learning Co.
BUSINESS
September 29, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN
Mattel Inc., anxious to unload its disastrous Learning Co. division even at a giveaway price, worked late into the night Thursday trying to make a deal with one of two small investment firms, according to sources. An announcement of a sale of Mattel's interactive division, which could come as early as today, is likely to include news of a major financial restructuring at the El Segundo-based toy company, sources said.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mattel Inc. said Monday it is trying to sell its troubled Learning Co. operations, which a year ago cost the company $3.6 billion to acquire and two months ago cost its chief executive, Jill Barad, her job. The ailing maker of educational software could fetch as little as $200 million, only about 5% of what Mattel paid for the Bay Area company, and possibly less than what Learning Co. has lost since joining Mattel, one Wall Street analyst estimated.
BUSINESS
November 11, 1999 | GREG JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The two top executives at Mattel Inc.'s Learning Co. unit have left their jobs less than a month after the world's largest toy maker said profit will suffer because of slow sales at the educational software unit. Mattel declined to elaborate on the departure of Learning Co. Chairman Michael Perik and President Kevin O'Leary. "We're not commenting beyond saying that they've left," said Mattel spokesman Glenn Bozarth.
BUSINESS
November 3, 1999 | Associated Press
Mattel Inc., trying to turn ailing software subsidiary the Learning Co. into an asset, is spinning off a majority stake in a genealogy Web site that is among the subsidiary's successful ventures. Genealogy.com also will receive $37.5 million in initial funding from Mattel and partners Hearst Corp., A&E Television Networks, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Weston Presidio Capital. El Segundo-based Mattel will keep a minority stake of undisclosed size in the business.
BUSINESS
September 30, 2000 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mattel Inc. executives announced Friday that they finally found a way to unload one of the worst purchases in American corporate history. But instead of selling the Learning Co. division, for which Mattel paid $3.5 billion a year ago, Mattel opted to give it away. During an early-morning call with investors and financial analysts, Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert said small Los Angeles-based investment firm Gores Technology Group will take software maker Learning Co.
BUSINESS
December 7, 1995 | JULIE PITTA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
By the standards of corporate America, where multibillion-dollar mergers and takeover battles have become routine, the fight for educational software maker Learning Co. is a small-time affair. Broderbund Software Inc. of Novato, Calif., is currently offering $530 million in cash and stock for the company in a friendly offer, while hostile rival SoftKey International Inc. has bid $606 million in cash. It's chump change compared with Disney's $19-billion merger with Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
BUSINESS
October 5, 1999 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Onetime toy king Mattel Inc. warned Wall Street on Monday that it expects sharply lower-than-expected earnings for its third quarter--a performance that Chief Executive Jill E. Barad can ill afford, analysts said, following Mattel's tough time last Christmas and the toy industry's general malaise. Mattel blamed its bad news on a series of problems at recently acquired computer software maker Learning Co. The warning sent Mattel's shares tumbling 30% and renewed speculation about Barad's removal.
BUSINESS
December 15, 1998 | GREG JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As earnings from lines such as Barbie and Hot Wheels took a dramatic fourth-quarter tumble, toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. on Monday announced a $3.8-billion merger with Learning Co., the nation's second-largest software company and owner of popular titles including "Carmen Sandiego," "Riven" and "Myst." The merger announcement, made before New York Stock Exchange trading began Monday, wasn't enough to keep Mattel's stock from plunging $8.
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