Chronologyof Edison Project Funding
In July, the Edison Projectchanged its name to "Edison Schools, Inc." 
In August, Edison filedwith the Securities and Exchange Commission to make an initial public offeringof $172.5 million in stock. The filing revealed that Edison had accumulated losses of $112 million as of 1March 1999,  and had lost$20.7 million in the nine-month period ending 31 March 1999. 
In May, Edison executivevice president Chris Cerf said that a planned expansion in 1999 would add 22new schools. Cerf reported that the expansion would bring Edison to"static-state profitability," the point at which the company wouldbecome profitable if it stopped growth expenditures. 
In October, the EdisonProject obtained $56 million of private equity financing, bringing the totalraised since 1991 to $161 million. Two companies, J.P. Morgan CapitalCorporation and Investor AB of Sweden, invested $20 million each, with theremainder coming from WSI Inc. (a holding company controlled by Chris Whittle)and Richmont Leeds Education Company, an education industry investmentcorporation. With the new financing, Edison projected that by 2001 it willincrease the number of schools it manages to 75. 
Also in October, Edisonannounced that it will offer stock options to staff members of its Miamischool. Teachers, administrators, and other school staff will have an option tobuy a limited amount of stock when the company goes public. 
The Edison Projectannounced it will seek $50 million from the private equity market andconsidered an initial public stock offering which the company expected wouldraise $75-100 million. 
In November, the EdisonProject completed a private $30.5 million financing, the third time thatWhittle had been able to solicit major private investment. Investors includedRichmont Leeds Education Company LLC; J.W. Childs Associates, LP; ZesigerCapital Group LLC; and Christopher Whittle, who remained the company's largestequity holder. 
In February, Edison securedthe financing for its first for-profit public schools, scaling back its plansto open more than a dozen schools in fall 1995 to five or fewer. Investorsagreed to commit less than $10 million for the first year; a second installmentfor 1996 was planned but not guaranteed, representing a total package of lessthan $30 million. Investors included the Sprout Group, a venture capital groupowned by Equitable Company's Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette SecuritiesCorporation.  As part of thearrangement, Christopher Whittle was forced to share chairmanship of thecompany with Janet Hickey, a Sprout representative. 
In July Edison announced itwill try to raise a minimum of $50 million to support the new network ofschools.  Later in the year,Whittle Communications collapsed and Whittle sold Channel One, his onlyprofitable product, to K-III Communications (now Primedia) for $300 million.
Whittle reduced the scopeof the planned Edison Project, from opening a network of private schools, tomanaging 20 public schools. While Whittle Communications secured approximately$40 million from two of its major investors, Philips Electronics NV andAssociated Newspaper Holdings, Whittle himself was removed from daily operations at Whittle Communications bythose same investors.  TimeWarner, Inc., an initial financial backer declined to commit any more funds tothe effort. 
A group of educators andbusiness people, led by former Yale University president Benno Schmidt, spentthe year developing the Edison school curriculum. 
Media entrepreneurChristopher Whittle, founder of Whittle Communications and creator of thecontroversial Channel One in-school news program, introduced his Edison Projectidea. He planned to build 1,000 new, for-profit schools, 200 of them withinfive years, at a projected cost of $2.5 billion.