Training services deal allows one firm to focus, one to grow |

Training services deal allows one firm to focus, one to grow

John Seelmeyer

Darren McBride’s act of courage in divesting a unit that generated 30 percent of his company’s revenues came easier because he believes a new product will more than cover the gap.

His company, Reno-based Sierra Computers Ltd., struck a deal to sell its training division to New Horizons Learning Center, also of Reno.

McBride, the president of Reno-based Sierra Computers Ltd., said the new product a computer backup system for companies with less than 100 employees needs the time he’s been devoting to the training operation.

“Our computer service and data backup divisions have been expanding rapidly,” McBride said.”This sale provides additional capital and management time to aggressively grow those segments.”

The data backup division,Highly Reliable Systems, was spun off last spring from Sierra Computers, which has been in operation for about 20 years.Highly Reliable Systems makes backup systems that use hard drive and DVDbased systems that compete with tape backup.

(The URL of a High-Rely site on the Internet explains the company in a nutshell.) New Horizons Learning Center,meanwhile, had been looking for growth through consolidation of the fractured training business.

“Reno’s market isn’t big enough to allow more than one training company to succeed,” said Eric Crittenden, co-owner of New Horizons.

He said Sierra Computers’ strong base of customers among insurance companies and government agencies complements New Horizon’s existing clients.

In addition, he said Sierra Computers’ training division had developed some courses AutoCAD, for instance that haven’t been available at New Horizons.

The training operations will be consolidated at New Horizons’ offices at the Reno Towne Mall.

Crittenden said two employees of Sierra Computers will move to New Horizons.

McBride said he’d received several offers for the training division, which he said had been profitable.

The sale to New Horizons has been in the works for about six months.

The transaction, which covers all existing training contracts, customers and business processes, closed last week.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed by the two privately held companies.