Perhaps there’s some irony in all of this:
The equity firms sold in 2006 to Riverdeep Group of Dublin, a $392 million educational software company (since reincorporated in the Cayman Islands) that was controlled by O’Callaghan, for $3.4 billion. Like Messier, O’Callaghan was on a spree, with other people’s money. He borrowed most of it from Credit Suisse and Citigroup, along with other investors. A year later, he bought Florida-based Harcourt, which has educational and trade lines much like Houghton Mifflin’s, from British-Dutch publishing giant Reed Elsevier. The price: about $4 billion, also mostly borrowed from Credit Suisse and Citigroup, as well as since-collapsed Lehman Brothers.
Classic New England Wasp publisher, virtually destroyed single-handedly by a short-sighted Irishman.