Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rumor Mill and Thomson Learning

An interesting search string appeared in my site stats a few days ago: "Bertelsmann and Thomson Learning." What could that mean - if anything? Bertelsmann's foray into educational publishing could be quite interesting and given their achievements in the US with Random House it would be something that the other educational publishers would want to monitor closely. The company doesn't have quite the cash cushion that they had before they were forced to buy out a minor partner last year; however, it seems highly unlikely that if they wanted to make a purchase of this size that they wouldn't be able to find ready suppliers of financing. They recently restructured some of their debt to reduce interest payments and had little difficulty with the offering.

It is all speculation and you have to believe the betting is on pure Private Equity. Bertelsmann is a diversified media company but clearly not adverse to paper based publishing operations and in this case they may be especially interested in the electronic revenue potential that Thomson Learning could offer. Wait and see.

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