SEC closes SkillSoft investigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ended an investigation into financial statement irregularities involving SmartForce, a company acquired in 2002 by Nashua-based SkillSoft.

SkillSoft said the SEC has closed the investigation without taking any actions against the company.

SkillSoft purchased SmartForce in September 2002. After the merger, SkillSoft found accounting issues in SmartForce’s financial statements, made corrections and cooperated with the SEC’s investigation.

SkillSoft officials say, however, the SEC is continuing its informal probe into stock options-granting practices at SmartForce before the merger for the period from April 12, 1996, through July 12, 2002.

SkillSoft, which is assisting in the probe, said it believes the stock options were accounted for properly in the merger, and that any accounting issues that might have resulted from SmartForce’s pre-merger option grants had it remained independent won’t affect SkillSoft’s financials. — CINDY KIBBE

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