SmartForce and SkillSoft to merge

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SmartForce and SkillSoft have announced an agreement to merge in a stock-for-stock transaction. The combination will create a major player in corporate e-Learning. The two portfolios should complement each other, with SmartForce’s focus on IT, enterprise applications, sales and CRM e-Learning products, and SkillSoft’s suite of business and professional e-Learning solutions, including management, leadership, communication, project management and customer service.

UK marketing manager Laura Overton stressed that the merger was driven by more than a good fit of products: "The two organisations share a common vision of the corporate training market and how it is developing. We understand that it is a changing market, and we have both learned that our products achieve a firm return on investment for customers through best-quality content and a commitment to innovation. This is the best strategic move for us to provide value for customers as well as shareholders. Together we will have an absolutely full breadth of corporate produtcs, and equally importantly customers can have confidence in a financially stable industry-leading powerhouse. In the current market, that kind of dependability is immensely valuable."

The combined company will be led by management and a board of directors derived from both companies. The new Board of Directors will include three directors who currently sit on SmartForce’s board, three directors who currently sit on SkillSoft’s board, and one new outside director originally nominated by SkillSoft.

Two months ago SmartForce called off their planned acquisition of software provider Centra.

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