Caliber plans public stock offering It seeks to raise up to $60 million


Caliber Learning Network Inc., the adult-education subsidiary of Baltimore-based Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., announced yesterday that it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of common stock that would raise up to $60 million.

The offering is expected to be made in mid-April, according to the registration statement.

Caliber, started in November 1996 by Sylvan Learning Systems and MCI Communications Corp., is establishing a graduate-level learning and professional training distribution network throughout the United States to serve universities, major corporations and working adults.

Caliber plans to open 50 national multimedia training facilities for adults by the end of the first quarter of 1998, said Vicki Glazar, Caliber spokeswoman.

The facilities would employ video-conferencing and computer-networking technology.

Howard Block, an analyst for BancAmerica Robertson Stephens in San Francisco, said Caliber is tapping into the "lifelong learning trend."

"We're operating in a knowledge-centric economy," he said. "And Caliber's growth is only limited by how much capital it has. There's some urgency in taking advantage of the market now."

The breadth of the company's business idea is untested, but the backing of Sylvan and MCI will attract it to investors, Block said.

According to the SEC document, Caliber intends to use the proceeds of the offering to build out its network, provide working capital, repay amounts outstanding under a loan from Sylvan Learning Systems and deferred management fees due to Sylvan, and pay accrued dividends on preferred stock.

Pub Date: 3/10/98

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