In a move aimed at further expanding the company's reach in the U.S. K-8 market, Ireland-based Riverdeep Group plc recently agreed to buy the assets of Edmark Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM, in a deal valued at about $85 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, Riverdeep will use about 4.6 million shares of stock, valued at $85 million, to acquire Edmark. Upon completion of the transaction, IBM will hold approximately 14 percent of Riverdeep's stock.
The 30-year-old Edmark publishes more than 50 educational titles focused on the K-8 school and consumer market, but since IBM bought it nearly four years ago the company has generally languished and IBM's deep pockets did not pull it out of its doldrums.
With Riverdeep, however, Edmark gains an aggressive educational publisher that is looking to increase its presence in the U.S. school market, which could help Edmark move well beyond the 46,000 schools its products are used in. Riverdeep's U.S. revenues were about $7 million for the fiscal year that ended March 31. Edmark's school sales have hovered between $7 million and $15 million for the past few years.
Riverdeep, which specializes in …