Press Releases & Coverage

Skillsoft Announces Receipt of Irish High Court Directions for Adjourned Court Meeting and Adjourned Extraordinary General Meeting

DUBLIN & NASHUA, N.H., Apr 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --SkillSoft PLC (NASDAQ:SKIL), a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses, announced that on April 7, 2010 it received directions from the Irish High Court as to the convening of the adjourned Court Meeting in relation to the revised recommended acquisition of SkillSoft by SSI Investments III Limited, a company formed by funds sponsored by each of Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corporation and Bain Capital Partners, LLC. The adjourned Court Meeting will be held at Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland, at 9:00 a.m. GMT on May 3, 2010. The related adjourned Extraordinary General Meeting will be held at Fitzwilton House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland, at 9:15 a.m. GMT on May 3, 2010 (or as soon thereafter as the adjourned Court Meeting shall have been concluded or adjourned). SkillSoft will make a further announcement following mailing of the revised, definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the revised Scheme Document).

On March 31, 2010, the Board of SkillSoft and the Board of SSI Investments III Limited announced, pursuant to the Irish Takeover Rules, that they had reached agreement on the revised terms of a recommended acquisition for cash of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of SkillSoft by SSI Investments III Limited by means of a Scheme of Arrangement under Section 201 of the Companies Act 1963 of Ireland. As stated in the March 31 announcement, under the terms of the revised recommended acquisition, SkillSoft shareholders will receive $11.25 in cash for each SkillSoft ordinary share or American Depositary Share ("ADS"), representing a 31% premium to the average closing price of SkillSoft's ADS over the one-year period ended on February 11, 2010 and a 15% premium over the closing price of a SkillSoft ADS on February 11, 2010. The fully diluted equity value of the transaction is approximately $1.2 billion.

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (NASDAQ: SKIL) is a leading SaaS provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables business organizations to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e- learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop, compliance and consumer/SMB courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as Leadership Development Channel video products, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals, virtual instructor-led training services and online mentoring services. SkillSoft's Books24x7(R) product offering includes access to more than 25,000 digitized IT and business books, as well as book summaries and executive reports. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R), SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM), inGenius(TM) and virtual classroom.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide, Dialogue and inGenius are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners, countries.

Legal Information

The directors of SkillSoft accept responsibility for the information contained in this announcement, other than that relating to SSI Investments III Limited, Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corporation and Bain Capital Partners, LLC and the directors of SSI Investments III Limited and members of their immediate families, related trusts and persons connected with them. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the directors of SkillSoft (who have taken all reasonable care to ensure such is the case), the information contained in this announcement for which they accept responsibility is in accordance with the facts and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.

The directors of SSI Investments III Limited accept responsibility for the information contained in this Announcement relating to SSI Investments III Limited, Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corporation and Bain Capital Partners, LLC and the directors of SSI Investments III Limited and members of their immediate families, related trusts and persons connected with them. To the best of the knowledge and belief of the directors of SSI Investments III Limited (who have taken all reasonable care to ensure such is the case, the information contained in this announcement for which they accept responsibility) is in accordance with the facts and does not omit anything likely to affect the import of such information.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC ("Credit Suisse"), which is regulated under the laws of the United States of America, is acting for SkillSoft and for no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not be responsible to any person other than SkillSoft for providing the protections afforded to clients of Credit Suisse, nor for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, the content of this announcement or any transaction or any matter referred to herein. Neither Credit Suisse nor any of its subsidiaries, branches or affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Credit Suisse in connection with this announcement, any transaction, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

Morgan Stanley, which is regulated under the laws of the United States of America, is acting exclusively for SSI Investments III Limited and no one else in connection with the Acquisition and will not be responsible to anyone other than SSI Investments III Limited for providing the protections afforded to clients of Morgan Stanley or for providing advice in relation to the Acquisition, the contents of this announcement or any transaction or arrangement referred to herein.

WilmerHale and William Fry are acting as legal advisors to SkillSoft. Ropes & Gray LLP and Mason Hayes+Curran are acting as legal advisors to SSI Investments III Limited, Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corporation and Bain Capital Partners, LLC.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to purchase, sell, subscribe for or exchange or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, sell, subscribe for or exchange any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to the Acquisition or otherwise.

Capitalised terms used but not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings given to such terms in the announcement of March 31, 2010 made by SkillSoft and SSI Investments III Limited pursuant to Rule 2.5 of the Irish Takeover Rules.

Any response in relation to the Acquisition should be made only on the basis of the information contained in the definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document). SkillSoft Securityholders are advised to read carefully the formal documentation in relation to the proposed transaction once the definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document) has been despatched.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC

On March 12, 2010, SkillSoft filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, a Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document) and SkillSoft intends to mail to its security holders a revised Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the revised Scheme Document) in connection with the Acquisition and the Scheme. Investors and security holders are urged to read carefully SkillSoft's Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document) and SkillSoft's revised Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the revised Scheme Document), when available, because these documents contain important information about SkillSoft, the Acquisition and the Scheme and related matters. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document) and the revised Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the revised Scheme Document), when available, and other documents filed with the SEC by SkillSoft through the web site maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, investors and shareholders may obtain free copies of the Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the Scheme Document) and revised Definitive Proxy Statement (comprising the revised Scheme Document), when available, from SkillSoft by contacting SkillSoft PLC, Attention: Investor Relations, 107 Northeastern Boulevard, Nashua, New Hampshire 03062, USA; (tel) +1(603)324-3000.

SAFE HARBOUR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This announcement includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbour provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this announcement regarding the proposed transaction between SSI Investments III Limited and SkillSoft, the expected timetable for completing the transaction and any other statements about SkillSoft's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other risk factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in SkillSoft's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the annual period ended January 31, 2010, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements provided by SkillSoft in this announcement represent the views of SkillSoft as of the date of this announcement. SkillSoft anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its views to change. However, while SkillSoft may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, SkillSoft specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing SkillSoft's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this announcement.

Dealing Disclosure Requirements

Under the provisions of Rule 8.3 of the Irish Takeover Panel Act, 1997, Takeover Rules 2007, as amended (the "Irish Takeover Rules"), if any person is, or becomes, 'interested' (directly or indirectly) in, one per cent., or more of any class of 'relevant securities' of SkillSoft, all 'dealings' in any 'relevant securities' of SkillSoft (including by means of an option in respect of, or a derivative referenced to, any such 'relevant securities') must be publicly disclosed by not later than 3.30 pm (Dublin time) on the business day following the date of the relevant transaction. This requirement will continue until the date on which the scheme becomes effective or on which the 'offer period' otherwise ends. If two or more persons co-operate on the basis of any agreement, either express or tacit, either oral or written, to acquire an 'interest' in 'relevant securities' of SkillSoft, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3 of the Irish Takeover Rules.

Under the provisions of Rule 8.1 of the Irish Takeover Rules, all 'dealings' in 'relevant securities' of SkillSoft by SSI Investments III Limited or SkillSoft, or by any of their respective 'associates' must also be disclosed by no later than 12 noon (Dublin time) on the business day following the date of the relevant transaction.

A disclosure table, giving details of the companies in whose 'relevant securities' 'dealings' should be disclosed can be found on the Panel's website at www.irishtakeoverpanel.ie.

'Interests in securities' arise, in summary, when a person has long economic exposure, whether conditional or absolute, to changes in the price of securities. In particular, a person will be treated as having an 'interest' by virtue of the ownership or control of securities, or by virtue of any option in respect of, or derivative referenced to, securities.

Terms in quotation marks are defined in the Irish Takeover Rules, which can also be found on the Irish Takeover Panel's website. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you are required to disclose a dealing under Rule 8, please consult the Panel's website at www.irishtakeoverpanel.ie or contact the Panel on telephone number +353 (0)1 678 9020; fax number +353 (0)1 678 9289.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in or into certain jurisdictions may be restricted by the laws of those jurisdictions. Accordingly, copies of this announcement and all other documents relating to the Acquisition are not being, and must not be, released, published, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from any jurisdiction in respect of which it would be unlawful to do so, including (but not limited to) Canada, South Africa, Australia and Japan. Persons receiving such documents (including, without limitation, nominees, trustees and custodians) should observe these restrictions. Failure to do so may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies involved in the proposed Acquisition disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violations of any such restrictions by any person.

SOURCE: SkillSoft PLC

SkillSoft
Tom McDonald, Chief Financial Officer
+1(603)324-3000
or
Geoff Grande, FD Investor Relations
+1(617)747-1721
or
Jonathan Neilan, FD Media Relations, Ireland
+353(0)16633686
or
Financial Adviser to SkillSoft:
Credit Suisse
North America
Adam Nordin
+1(312)750-3000
or
Storm Duncan
+1(415)249-2100
or
UK & Ireland
Zachary Brech
+442078888888