PECOS RIVER LEARNING CENTERS AGREES TO SELL MAJORITY OWNERSHIP TO AON CORPORATION
Sale Of Pecos River Conference Center Likely MINNEAPOLIS, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Pecos River Learning Centers,
Inc., the Santa Fe, N.M.-based corporate training company nationally known as a premier provider of business learning for the '90s, has reached an agreement with Chicago-based Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON), one of the largest insurance brokerage, consulting and training firms in the world, to acquire a majority share in PRLC and invest in its longterm growth.
Pecos River is the fastest growing company of its kind in the nation, and has flourished by creating rapid, profound and lasting change in organizations. It is distinctive in the way it helps to change the nature of its clients' business relationships -- within teams, between managers and employees, and between a company, its customers, and suppliers. It was reported earlier this month that PRLC is moving its world headquarters to Eden Prairie, Minn. With thousands of people a year being directly affected by its dramatic top to bottom approach towards transforming business relationships, innovative Pecos River has never been more successful in its broad impact, particularly on corporate America. In its ten years, Pecos has created such an unmistakable string of bottom line successes for its clients that many Fortune 500 corporations have chosen to send entire organizations through their trainings. "In Aon, we now have a stakeholder in Pecos River who can give us the latitude to strategically grow new markets and the financial strength to create leading-edge products and services with sustainable quality," said PRLC Founder and Chair Larry Wilson. "Expanded sales and marketing capabilities will allow Pecos to maintain its preeminent position as a leader in corporate development. Aon is a superb partner for us." In agreeing to sell Aon Corporation a majority stake in the company, Pecos has secured from Aon its commitment to invest the funds necessary for Pecos to continue its aggressive expansion plans. Pecos' remaining minority ownership interest will be predominantly in the hands of Larry Wilson as chairman and CEO, and his senior management team. Elizabeth Adams Wilson, Pecos River president and head of its senior management team, states that no management changes will occur as a result of the ownership change. Thirteen Santa Fe-based employees are in the process of moving to join 25 to 30 additional staff being hired in Minnesota as a result of the headquarters move to Minnesota. Aon chairman and CEO Patrick G. Ryan shares an entrepreneurial kinship with Larry Wilson, a brand of leading-edge business rarely found in companies of its size. Ryan stated that he looked forward to working with Pecos, describing the company as a "highly innovative and talented organization. "The primary reason for our investment," said Ryan, "is the clear demonstration by Pecos of its extraordinary track record in assisting major multi-national corporations successfully accommodate change and turn such change into new profitability. Obviously, that is good for Aon and its thousands of corporate clients throughout the world. It's really a market without end." In an unrelated move, Pecos River Learning Centers is in negotiations to sell the 1,600 acre Pecos Ranch, the company's original corporate training and development conference center on the Pecos River in New Mexico, near Santa Fe, to an undisclosed party. If consummated, the sale would occur at the end of 1994. Over the past several years, Pecos River Learning Centers has made a strategic move towards bringing its unique approach to training closer to its corporate clients. Today, the vast majority of its revenue is generating away from its Pecos Ranch, in over 25 states and seven countries. For several years, the operation of Pecos Ranch has negatively impacted profitability. Pecos now wishes to dedicate its full efforts towards its programs, and away from operating the Ranch. Of the sale of the Pecos Ranch, Wilson is reflective. "Obviously, we have very mixed emotions about letting go of the Ranch," said Wilson. "Today, the words 'Pecos River' symbolize a new approach to business more than a geographical location, and so it's somewhat appropriate that we move the business beyond its roots. "Our logo depicts the sharp bend in the Pecos River where the ranch is currently located," said Wilson. "In a broader sense, it also represents the ever-flowing and dramatic changes our clients' businesses are undergoing." Wilson has authored two best-selling books entitled "Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell," and "The One-Minute Salesperson." -0- 4/18/94 /CONTACT: Richard L. Krahl, executive vice president, 612-332-5502; or Elizabeth Adams Wilson, president, 505-989-9101, both of Pecos River/ (AON)
CO: Pecos River Learning Centers, Inc.; Aon Corporation ST: Minnesota, New Mexico IN: SU: TNM
CP-DB -- MN023 -- 8840 04/18/94 13:35 EDT