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An Appetite for Acquisition

Educational publishing company John Wiley & Sons Inc. will acquire troubled "For Dummies" book publisher Hungry Minds Inc., formerly known as IDG Books Worldwide Inc., in a cash deal valued at $182.5 million.

New York City-based John Wiley will make a $6.09 per share cash offer for all of Hungry Minds' approximately 14.8 million outstanding shares plus the retirement of $92.5 million in outstanding debt.

Hungry Minds , also New York-based, has been losing money lately; for the six months ended in March of this year, sales fell 22 percent to $95 million and net loss totaled $9.5 million vs. an income of $8 million a year ago.

Today the company said it will report a net loss for its third fiscal quarter of $0.9 million, or 6 cents per share, versus net income of $2.6 million or 17 cents per share for the same period a year ago. Net revenues for the quarter ending June 30, 2001 are $41.4 million, down 25 percent from $55.2 million a year earlier.

Hungry Minds IDG unit publishes its books in three general publishing groups: For Dummies, CliffsNotes and Frommer's.

"Over the last 11 years, we have built the leading portfolio of knowledge brands in the publishing industry," said John Kilcullen, chairman and CEO of Hungry Minds. "John Wiley & Sons Inc. is a company whose long-standing and distinguished publishing tradition makes it an ideal home for our brands, customers, employees and all our business partners."

"The long-term value of Hungry Minds' world-renowned brands makes this a unique opportunity to build on our proven track record with acquisitions and exploit our strong global position," said William J. Pesce, president and chief executive officer of John Wiley.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley publishes scientific, technical, and medical journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and educational materials for both college students and lifelong learners.