Thomson Peterson’s, the 40-year-old publishing company founded in Princeton as Peterson’s Guides, is on the block. The Thomson Corporation has just told its 220 employees on Lenox Drive that it will sell the business “to a company where a stronger strategic fit exists,” according to spokesperson Michael Fleischner.
“This decision is not a reflection on the performance of Thomson Peterson’s, but simply the correct course of action to ensure our organization is solely focused on and aligned with businesses that support Thomson’s long-range business goals,” says Fleischner.
Worldwide Thomson has 40,000 employees and has its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Thomson Peterson’s is a division of Thomson Learning, which focuses on delivering integrated information solutions to professional and institutional customers, says Fleischner. In contrast, the mission of Thomson Peterson’s is to deliver educational products and services direct to consumers.
Founded by Peter and Casey Hegener in 1966, Peterson’s Guides started out publishing college selection guides, and it competed with those published by the College Board. When Thomson bought Peterson’s Guides in 1995, it employed 150 people in Princeton and 80 people in other locations. In addition to its traditional products — books, data bases, and software for career guidance, college choices, and recruitment — it was an early entrant to the E-commerce market and was ready to launch one of the first programs to allow high school applicants to fill out electronic college applications.
Meanwhile Thomson had begun selling off its small-market newspapers in order to acquire electronic media outlets.
“They acquired us because of our market niche. This was not a distress sale,” said Peter Hegener at the time of the sale (U.S. 1, October 25, 1995). The shareholders, all family members, were “extremely happy,” he said. He and Casey stayed on, for a time, as the division CEO and vice chairman, respectively.
For its consumer clients, Thomson Peterson’s has information about colleges and universities, career schools, graduate programs, distance learning, executive training, private secondary schools, summer opportunities, study abroad, financial aid, test preparation, and career exploration. Its web-based products include CollegesWantYou, GradSchoolsWantYou, online practice tests for the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT Assessment, ASVAB, and TOEFL, and a searchable financial aid database. It recently acquired a company with civil service, licensing, certification, and military test preparation guides. It also has online services that help with writing essays and preparing resumes.
“Thomson Peterson’s is a valuable property that we expect will continue to prosper under new ownership,” says Fleischner. “In the interim, we have been wholly transparent with Thomson Peterson’s employees, clients and partners. We look forward to helping Thomson Peterson’s emerge under the stewardship of new owners.”
Thomson Peterson’s (TOC), 2000 Lenox Drive, Princeton Pike Corporate Center, Suite 300, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-1800; fax, 609-896-1811. Mary Gatsch, president. www.petersons.com
Nassau Street-based Order Execution Services will expand its services by buying a broker-dealership, Archipelago Brokerage Services, from Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings (Amex: AX).
Both the new broker-dealer, ABS, and OES provide low-cost, rapid-electronic trading execution services and access to various equity exchanges.
“As a result of this acquisition, we will maximize our services to become a one-stop venue, offering advanced order routing and connectivity on one competitive low-cost platform,” said David M. Scheckel, CEO of OES, in a press release.
OES is a broker-dealer that provides services to other broker dealers for some types of functions, including executing orders at certain market centers. It has its roots in a Jersey City-based company, Herzog, which was acquired by Merrill Lynch. In 2002 Herzog executives bought out their former company and moved to the ground floor and basement of 194 Nassau Street, which formerly housed a retail office of Merrill Lynch.
“OES has focused primarily on the listed side, the New York, American and regional stock exchanges,” says Mike Barth, OEM senior vice president. In contrast, ABS has focused on the Chicago-based Archipelago exchange, the third largest exchange in the country. As part of SEC requirements, Archipelago is having to sell two of its four broker-dealers, including ABS.
“With this purchase we increase volume, and ABS complements the type of business we currently do — the number of accounts and trading volume,” says Barth.
No Chicago-based ABS employees are being retained, and OES is not hiring at this time, though Barth does not rule out future expansion. Current OES employees will combine the networks to create a centralized hub in Princeton.
Earlier this year OES took over the third-floor suite formerly occupied by Education Resources Group, and now it occupies 7,800 square feet. The sale was announced on February 21, but the transaction took place December 23. The price was not specified.
Order Execution Services LLC, 194 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; 609-430-0100; fax, 609-430-2953. David Scheckel, partner. www.tradoes.com
Mapleton Rd. Moves
With the retirement of Sidney Souter, three other attorneys who shared offices at 40 Nassau Street have moved to the Benjamin Gray House at 5 Mapleton Road, where they are subletting space from the law firm of Zuckerman and Fisher.
“Here I don’t have any traffic, and looking out of my window in the corner office I have this fabulous view,” says Robert B. Zagoria, who misses the availability of many choices for lunch but does not miss downtown parking problems. He focuses on personal injury and employment law.
Robert B. Zagoria, 5 Mapleton Road, Benjamin Gray House, Princeton 08540; 609-987-9400; fax, 609-987-9401.
Michael Joye, 5 Mapleton Road, Benjamin Gray House, Princeton 08540; 609-924-1500.
Steven Wallach, Attorney at Law, 5 Mapleton Road, Benjamin Gray House, Princeton 08540; 609-987-9100; fax, 609-987-9101.
Ryan Stark Lilienthal Law Offices, 209 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; 609-987-9600; fax, 609-987-0600. www.princetonimmigration.com
The immigration attorney expanded by moving his four-person office from 5 Mapleton Road in December.
Ruth Larson, Attorney, 60 High Street, Suite 201, Mount Holly 08060; 609-518-7888; fax, 609-518-7876.
Ruth Larson, a civil litigator, moved her law office from 5 Mapleton Road to Mount Holly. Phone and fax are new. She focuses on negligence defense.
Capital Public Affairs Inc., 3 Mapleton Road, the Barn at Millstone Park, Princeton 08540; 609-514-2600; fax, 609-514-2660. Elizabeth Ortiz, manager of administration. Home page: www.cpanj.com
Capital Public Affairs has expanded from the Benjamin Gray House to a 4,600 square feet next door in a converted barn, renovated according to a design by Clarke Caton.
This full-service public affairs consulting company monitors legislative and regulatory initiatives for over 75 clients, both Democrats and Republicans. It serves corporations, professionals, trade associations, and medical organizations.
Principals in Capital Public Affairs jointly own the Benjamin Gray House and the surrounding property with principals in Jamestown Associates, which occupies the second floor of the house.
Scopus Video Networks Inc., 3 Independence Way, Suite 104, Princeton 08540; 609-987-8091; fax, 609-987-8095. Carlo Basile, president. Home page: www.scopususa.com
This video networking firm more than doubled its space with a February 25 move from 100 Overlook to 7,350 square feet at 3 Independence Way. Both properties are owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. Phone and fax will not change. The company does video networking — end to end solutions for broadcast, cable television, and telco industries. It is headquartered in Tel Aviv.
ZenSar Technologies Inc., 103 College Road East, Princeton 08540; 609-452-1414; fax, 609-452-0909. Aamod Wagh. Home page: www.zensar.com
The software solutions provider plans to nearly double its space with a March move from 1,400 square feet at 2 Research Way to 2,700 feet at 103 College Road East, both in National Business Parks. Based in India, it has 23 global offices.
NewtonEdge, 2425 Pennington Road, Pennington 08534; 609-818-0025; fax, 609-818-0045. Debra Newton, president & CEO. Home page: www.newtonedge.com
Debra Newton has reportedly moved her pharmaceutical marketing and communications firm to New York, although the Pennington address is still on her website. She did not return several calls from reporters.
Paul Kallich, 54, on February 12. He was an attorney.
Joyce Mary Meyers, 55, on February 14. She had been a human resources manager with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Purdue Pharma.
Olga Gorelli, 85, on February 18. She was a composer and piano teacher.
Robert L. Leigh, 74, on February 22. He owned Leigh’s Service Station in Hopewell.
Frederick J. Evans, 68, on February 23. A psychologist, he had been research director at Carrier Institute