Haights Cross Communications, majority owner of the Coriolis Group, shut down the Scottsdale, Ariz., computer book publisher March 29. Peter Quandt, Haights Cross chairman, said the deep slump in the computer book market left the company with no choice but to close Coriolis. The company "was losing too much money," Quandt said, adding that he didn't think the company could be turned around soon.

"We've been downsizing the company steadily over the last several months and have talked to other companies about buying it, but nothing could be worked out," Quandt told PW, adding that Haights Cross is still discussing selling some of Coriolis's assets. Among its properties are study products for IT certification and technical reference guides for network and system administrators and software developers.

At its peak, Coriolis had more than 70 employees; 50 remained last week, all of whom were laid off. Quandt said the collapse of Internet companies, extensive layoffs among IT personnel plus reduced shelf space for computer books at stores all contributed to Coriolis's demise.

Haights Cross acquired a majority ownership in Coriolis about three years ago from International Thomson Publishing, with a minority stake held by Coriolis founder Keith Weiskamp. Weiskamp left the company last spring and was succeeded as president by Roland Elgey. Discussions with Weiskamp about a possible deal were unsuccessful.