Riverdeep Acquires the Education Assets of the Learning Company; Riverdeep to Become the World’s Largest K-12 Education
September 6, 2001
DUBLIN, Ireland & CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sept. 6, 2001 -- Riverdeep Group plc (NASDAQ: RVDP), a leading developer of interactive learning solutions for kindergarten through high school (K-12), today announced it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the education assets of The Learning Company (TLC), a leading publisher of innovative, interactive consumer and school education software with the largest installed base in the world.

Under the terms of the agreement, Riverdeep has agreed to pay Gores Technology Group, the current owner of TLC, $40 million in stock and assume approximately $20 million in liabilities in the form of inter-company debt, in exchange for substantially all of the education assets of TLC. These assets include The Learning Company name, and all of its industry leading education software brands such as Reader Rabbit, Carmen Sandiego, ClueFinders, Oregon Trail, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and Zoombinis, as well as other well known licensed brands. Riverdeep will also acquire the development and distribution resources associated with these assets including established school, OEM, consumer and international businesses. The assets will complement Riverdeep's comprehensive school portfolio as well as significantly expand Riverdeep's penetration in the international, OEM and consumer marketplace.

"The addition of TLC's household brands will enable Riverdeep to capture the coveted position of global leader in the education software market and lay claim to the title Riverdeep - The Learning Company," said Barry O'Callaghan, Riverdeep's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The Learning Company was ranked first in "Installed Base" in both "Instructional Software" and "Comprehensive Courseware" categories in a survey conducted by Quality Education Data, a research and database company. "Integrating TLC into our business will significantly expand our revenues, user base and the breadth of our product offerings in our various markets, and will allow us to apply our proven expertise in Web-enabling technology to TLC's consumer titles and installed base."

"In its period of ownership, Gores has transformed this business, refocusing development on home grown brands and returning the assets to profitability - I am delighted to welcome them as a shareholder. I'm particularly pleased that we'll have an ongoing relationship with Broderbund (the Productivity and E-Commerce division of TLC remaining with Gores and not being acquired by Riverdeep)," said O'Callaghan.

"Riverdeep is clearly the most innovative, dynamic and best managed company in the K-12 education software business," said James R. Bailey, Group President of Gores Technology Group. "We are delighted to have found such an appropriate home and partner for these assets and we're very excited at being a shareholder in Riverdeep."

About Riverdeep Group plc.

Riverdeep Group plc provides highly motivating, dynamic, curriculum-based Internet and CD-ROM learning experiences for the K-12 market. Riverdeep's products feature interactive problem-solving approaches and real-world applications that contribute to the depth of conceptual understanding. The Company also offers extensive online tools; support and professional development offerings via Riverdeep.net, helping educators integrate technology with curriculum and to assess and improve student performance.

Riverdeep's science, math and language arts learning activities are correlated to national and state curriculum standards. These award-winning products including Riverdeep's Destination Math, Science Explorer, Science Gateways, and Tangible MATH, are accessible via Riverdeep.net and are available on CD-ROM for all major operating platforms.

Riverdeep was founded in 1995 and is jointly headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, write to Riverdeep Interactive Learning, 125 Cambridge Park Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02140; call toll free to 800-564-2587; visit www.riverdeep.net; or send a note to info@riverdeep.net.

About Gores Technology Group

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA., Gores Technology Group (GTG) is a privately held international acquisition and management firm that pursues an aggressive strategy of acquiring promising high-technology organizations and managing them for growth and profitability. GTG has acquired and managed approximately 35 interrelated but autonomous technology-oriented companies with locations throughout the world. Those companies provide a broad range of technology-based products and services to a substantial customer base representing millions of active users worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.gores.com.

About Broderbund

Broderbund has become synonymous with innovative technology and high quality software, and is a leading publisher of productivity products worldwide. Its brands, including The Print Shop, PrintMaster, Family Tree Maker and Dragon Naturally Speaking, are category leaders. Broderbund's flagship brand, The Print Shop, has sold more than 17 million units since its introduction in 1984. The company has more than 40 million customers in homes, businesses and schools worldwide. Broderbund operates ExpressIt.com, the company's award-winning Web site, which is visited by more than one million people every month. It offers greetings, photo albums, more than one million graphics and other products and services. More information about Broderbund and its products can be found at www.broderbund.com.

Except for historical information, matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may be materially different. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: failure to transition from a CD-ROM based delivery system to a subscription-based delivery system; lack of sponsorship; failure to enter into strategic partnerships or to integrate acquired businesses or assets; foreign exchange risks; lack of future additional financing; failure to maintain strong brand identity; decrease in federal and government funding for schools; unwillingness of teachers to incorporate our products and services into lesson plans; and infringement of our intellectual property rights, as well as other factors discussed under "Risk Factors" from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including those in the Company's prospectus dated March 9, 2000 and the Company's fiscal 2000 Annual Report. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.