Big E-Learning Buyout Goes Bust

by Volker Weber

The planned acquisition of Centra Software by SmartForce is terminated.

The E-learning market may not be as promising as analysts would have you believe. The planned acquisition of collaboration-software maker Centra Software Inc. by E-learning content provider SmartForce plc was terminated Tuesday in a move as unexpected as was news of the acquisition in January. SmartForce was to acquire Centra in an all-stock transaction worth $284 million, in what was to be one of the largest acquisitions to date in an industry riddled with consolidation. Both companies had warned they would fail to reach first-quarter revenue goals. Centra shares fell more than 30%, and SmartForce shares dropped 20%, in after-hours trading Tuesday.

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