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Jostens Inc., a leading provider of products for education, business, and athletics, has sold its 36 proprietary schools to CareerCom Corporation, a Middletown, Pa., firm that currently operates 40 business and trade schools.

Under terms of the sale, completed last month, CareerCom paid Jostens $20 million in cash and issued 1.7 million shares of stock to the firm. The Minneapolis-based company now owns 20 percent of CareerCom's stock, and will still maintain an interest in the proprietary schools, according to Tamara Peterson, a spokesman for Jostens. "We don't feel we've gotten out of the proprietary-school business,'' she said. "We have changed the way we are involved in the business.''

Left unchanged by the sale is Jostens' education division, which created the proprietary schools in 1983. The division operates the Prescription Learning Corporation, which provides computer-based learning laboratories for schools.

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