SkillSoft reports 2011 results

SkillSoft, a Nashua e-learning software and service provider, released its fourth-quarter and full-year results for fiscal 2011 – its first full-year reporting as a subsidiary of a private equity group.Financial results from newly acquired or merged companies can look a little messy for the first few quarters as “before” and “after” reconciling shakes out, and SkillSoft Limited, as it is now known, is no exception.SSI Investments II Ltd., SkillSoft’s new parent company since May 2010, reported the firm closed the fourth fiscal quarter, three months ended Jan. 31, 2011, with revenue of $63 million, a 20 percent drop from the $79 million reported as a predecessor company in Jan. 31, 2010.The newly combined company also posted a net loss of $30 million for the fourth fiscal quarter, as compared to income of $15 million last January, prior to the acquisition.For the full fiscal year, the SkillSoft predecessor posted revenue of $97.5 million for the period of Feb. 1, 2010, to May 25, 2010. As a successor company, SkillSoft posted $149.7 million for the May 26, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2010, period.The predecessor firm reported a net loss of $8.6 million for the February to May timeframe. The successor company reported a net loss of $119 million for the May through January period.Combined results of the fiscal year 2011, ended Jan. 31, 2010, were nearly $315 million in revenue and a positive income of $71 million.SkillSoft has had a history as troubled as it has been successful.SkillSoft incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, in 1989, although its main sales office is located in Nashua.In 2002, SkillSoft acquired a competitor, SalesForce – and that company’s ugly baggage. Not long after, accounting irregularities were found on the old SalesForce books prompting a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a subsequent class action suits by investors. SkillSoft eagerly complied with the investigation, and itself was never a target.A class action suit settled in March 2004 and a second in April 2006, with the SEC investigation closed in July 2007, taking no action against SkillSoft.Despite the investigation and the lawsuits, SkillSoft continued adding products, personnel and companies, and became an e-service learning provider to the U.S. military among other clients.In May 2010, SkillSoft was acquired by SI Investments III Limited, a company formed by Berkshire Partners LLC, Advent International Corp. and Bain Capital Partners LLC, for approximately $1.2 billion in the largely stock transaction.SkillSoft remains headquartered in Dublin, but its shares have not been publicly traded on the Nasdaq since May 25, 2010. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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