May 7, 1998 12:10 PM PDT

Learning Co. to acquire PF. Magic

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Learning Co. to buy Mindscape

March 6, 1998
In another sign of consolidation in the educational software market, the Learning Company today announced plans to acquire virtual pet software maker PF.Magic.

The buyout would expand the company's online offerings in the virtual life category and calls for the Learning Company (TLC) to offer approximately 560,000 shares of its stock to PF.Magic. The deal is valued at $15.8 million, based on TLC's closing price yesterday of 28.19.

PF.Magic, which reported revenues of $8 million last year, publishes Dogz and Catz, products designed to teach parents and children about caring for virtual pets before bringing a real pet home.

The company's announcement comes just two months after another large buyout. In March, TLC acquired Mindscape in a $150 million cash transaction, a deal that gave it access to products such as Mindscape's computer chess programs, its college entrance exam preparation software, and its gallery of original artwork.

Other TLC acquisitions have included Edusoft, Learning Services, Skills Bank, Minnesota Educational Computing, and Creative Wonders, a joint venture of ABC and Electronic Arts.

The Learning Company is facing stiff competition as it expands its offerings, from such major players as Cendant, Broderbund, and Disney.

Broderbund already is struggling with that competition. In March, the company in announced that it would lay off 70 employees as part of a cost-cutting measure.

 

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