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|SkillSoft Settles 1998 Class Action Lawsuit|
NASHUA, N.H., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of comprehensive multi-modal e-Learning content and software products for business and information technology (IT) professionals, announced today that it has agreed to settle the class action lawsuit filed against the Company, one of its subsidiaries and certain of its former and current officers and directors in 1998. The lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, asserted violations of the federal securities laws. Under the terms of the settlement, the Company will make a $10 million cash payment within 30 days and an additional $6 million payment in mid-2004. The Company's insurance carriers will pay an additional $16 million for total settlement payments of $32 million.
"Our board of directors concluded it was in the best interest of our shareholders to resolve the case and focus our attentions on growing our business," commented Chuck Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer. "In the end, our time is best utilized by meeting with and speaking to customers and continuing to execute on our business plan."
The Company's previously announced financial outlook for fiscal 2004 (ending January 31, 2004) -- a loss of $0.66 to $0.67 per basic and diluted share -- did not take into account the negative impact of the resolution of this or any other litigation matters. The Company will update its fiscal 2004 outlook when it releases the results for the fiscal third quarter ended October 31, 2003.
The Company continues to anticipate that its previously stated cash position at the end of fiscal 2004 (January 31, 2004), assuming its normal level of days sales outstanding receivables, will be between $50 million and $55 million.
SkillSoft is a leading global provider of comprehensive, multi-modal e-Learning content and software products for business and information technology (IT) professionals. Multi-modal learning (MML) solutions offer powerful tools to support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes. MML solutions integrate SkillSoft's in-depth courseware, learning management platform technology and support services to meet customers' learning needs.
SkillSoft focuses on a variety of IT, professional effectiveness and business topics that SkillSoft believes represent the critical skills required of employees in increasingly dynamic and complex work environments. SkillSoft partners with some of the world's technology leaders to co-develop sound, standardized content that delivers rich, comprehensive learning and performance support experiences.
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results encompassed within the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the risk that the court will not approve the settlement; difficulties in integrating the organizations of SmartForce and SkillSoft, competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in SkillSoft's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 31, 2003, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by the Company in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
Michael Polyviou or Kirin Smith