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Learning Co. Sells Compton's in Print
-- 6/29/98
Confident that a market for print encyclopedias still exists, Mike Capetanakis led a management buyout that acquired the Compton's print encyclopedia and yearbook business from The Learning Co. In addition to acquiring the Compton's content and yearbook file, Capetanakis licensed the right to use the Compton's name and trademark in perpetuity. The Learning Co. will continue to develop and market the CD-ROM and online versions of the encyclopedia.
Capetanakis had been in charge of Compton's print efforts for The Learning Co. and with the financial support of Data Marketing Group -- a supplier of data processing for the direct marketing industry-formed Success Publishing Group Ltd. to acquire the encyclopedia's print rights. Capetanakis told PW he thinks a niche market exists for print encyclopedias, particularly in schools and libraries as well as overseas. "The market may not be big enough for a conglomerate, but it is big enough for an entrepreneur," Capetanakis said. Prior to joining Learning Co., Capetanakis was with Grolier and Encyclopaedia Britannica and spent time at Penguin as well.

SPG, which has 46 employees, will remain in Chicago. The company's domestic sales force of 98 reps will call on the school and library market, and SPG will also use some direct mail.
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