Broderbund has been acquired by its arch rival The Learning Company (TLC) in a deal worth $420 million, creating a consumer software giant.
The acquisition was announced on 22 June, following weeks of speculation about Broderbund, which focused on TLC and Hasbro Interactive as possible suitors (PC Dealer, 17 June). The deal is subject to shareholder approval but the combined companies will have a portfolio of more than 250 titles with potential sales of $1 billion.
Broderbund had been forced into facing harsh market realities as it slashed its workforce by seven per cent in March, in an attempt to reduce operating costs by $5 million. The company also burned its fingers with its $9.3 million acquisition of Living Books in January 1997, which turned in a lacklustre performance.
Michael Perik, CEO of TLC, said: 'Broderbund is one of the legends of the consumer software industry and certainly has one of the most impressive portfolios of evergreen software brands. He added: 'We expect to be able to leverage our combined distribution in retail, direct response, international and school channels to maximise value for the stockholders of the new organisation.'
Joe Durrett, chief executive of Broderbund, added: 'In an industry that is rapidly consolidating, we believe this merger will align Broderbund with the strongest possible partner.'
The deal was expected to result in a number of redundancies, due to personnel overlaps across the two firms.
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