Shareholder Sues Smartforce PLC d.b.a. Skillsoft PLC for Stock Fraud, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo Announces -- SKIL

Boston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES


CONCORD, N.H., Dec. 4, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- A shareholder filed a class action today against Smartforce PLC d.b.a. Skillsoft PLC (Nasdaq:SKIL), accusing the educational software company of defrauding shareholders, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo said.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. It seeks damages for violations of federal securities laws on behalf of all investors who bought Smartforce PLC d.b.a. Skillsoft PLC common stock from January 18, 2000 through November 18, 2002 (the Class Period), including (1) all purchasers of Smartforce PLC's American Depository Shares ("ADS") from January 18, 2000, through September 6, 2002, trading under the Nasdaq ticker symbol SMTF; (2) all persons who acquired Smartforce PLC's ADSs as part of the merger between Smartforce PLC and Skillsoft Corporation completed on or around September 6, 2002; and (3) all purchasers of Smartforce PLC's ADSs after September 6, 2002, when the company began doing business as "Skillsoft" and trading under the Nasdaq ticker symbols SKILD or SKIL.

Berman DeValerio has represented investors in class actions for 20 years. To review the complaint and learn more about becoming a lead plaintiff, please visit the firm's website at www.bermanesq.com.

The lawsuit claims that Skillsoft issued false and misleading financial statements about Smartforce based on accounting gimmickry that improperly inflated the company's reported revenues and earnings.

On November 19, 2002, two months after completing its merger with Smartforce, Skillsoft stunned investors by revealing that the company intended to delay its third quarter report for 2002 and restate its financial statements for the years 1999, 2000, 2001, and for the first half of 2002. According to the complaint, both the delay and the restatements were prompted by Skillsoft's discovery of numerous accounting improprieties that had occurred at its merger partner Smartforce. The irregularities include the premature recognition of revenue and failure to properly account for bad debt.

On the day of these disclosures, Skillsoft stock dropped 33% to $1.57 per share, on unusually high trading volume.

If you purchased Smartforce PLC d.b.a. Skillsoft PLC stock during the period January 18, 2000 through November 18, 2002, you may wish to contact the following attorneys at Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo to discuss your rights and interests.


 Patrick T. Egan, Esq.
 Bryan A. Wood, Esq.
 One Liberty Square
 Boston, MA 02109
 (800) 516-9926 or (617) 542-8300 
 law@bermanesq.com

If you wish to apply to be lead plaintiff in this action, a motion must be filed on your behalf with the court no later than January 21, 2003. You may contact the attorneys at Berman DeValerio to discuss your rights regarding the appointment of lead plaintiff and your interest in the class action. You may also retain counsel of your choice. To be a member of the class, however, you need not take any action at this time.

Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo prosecutes class actions nationwide on behalf of institutions and individuals, chiefly victims of securities fraud, antitrust law violations, and consumer fraud. The firm consists of 36 attorneys in Boston, San Francisco, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primezone.com/ca.



        

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