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Skillsoft announces closing of take-private transaction with funds sponsored by Berkshire Partners, Advent International and Bain Capital

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DUBLIN, IRELAND AND NASHUA, N.H., May 26, 2010 - SkillSoft PLC (NASDAQ: SKIL), a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions, announced that the acquisition of the Company 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 (together, the "Investor Group"), was completed today.  Under the terms of the transaction, pursuant to Irish law, SkillSoft shareholders will receive US$11.25 in cash for each SkillSoft share no later than June 9, 2010, a premium of approximately 15 percent over US$9.76, the closing price of SkillSoft shares on February 11, 2010, the last trading day before the first public announcement of the acquisition. The fully diluted equity value of the transaction is approximately US$1.2 billion.

“SkillSoft is pleased to announce the closing of this transaction,” said Chuck Moran, who will continue to lead SkillSoft as CEO together with the current management team.  “We believe this represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders, and we view the transaction as an endorsement of SkillSoft’s commitment to providing innovative e-learning products, combined with unmatched customer service.  We look forward to this next chapter of SkillSoft’s evolution in partnership with Berkshire, Advent and Bain Capital.”

SkillSoft will continue to be headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, but effective today its shares will no longer be publicly listed on NASDAQ.

“SkillSoft is a compelling company with an exceptional management team,” said Michael Ascione, a Managing Director of Berkshire Partners.  “We look forward to supporting Chuck Moran and the SkillSoft team as they continue to grow SkillSoft’s strong position in the industry.”

“We expect the e-learning industry to exhibit strong growth characteristics over the next decade,” said Steve Tadler, a Managing Partner of Advent International.  “We believe that SkillSoft is well-positioned to continue to develop and enhance its e-learning products and services.”

Ian Loring, a Managing Director of Bain Capital Partners, added, “SkillSoft's strong position in the training industry and compelling economic model create the opportunity to invest in a range of strategic growth initiatives that offer significant long-term potential.”

Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated, Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank provided financing for the transaction.  For the Investor Group, Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated and Barclays Capital acted as financial advisors, and Ropes & Gray LLC and Mason, Hayes+Curran provided legal counsel. SkillSoft’s financial advisor was Credit Suisse Securities LLC, and WilmerHale and William Fry acted as legal counsel.

Contacts


John Maldonado

Managing Director, USA - Boston

T: +1 617 951 9400
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Steve Tadler

Managing Partner, USA - Boston

T: +1 617 951 9400
Office details