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Excolere Equity Partners Invests in Leading K-12 Literacy and Math Solutions Provider

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LOS ANGELES, March 2, 2023-- Excolere Equity Partners (“Excolere”), a leading middle market private equity firm specializing in investments in the Education and Human Capital Management sector, announced the acquisition of EPS School Specialty (“EPS” or the “Company”), the literacy and math solutions division of School Specialty, LLC. (“School Specialty”). The acquisition represents the culmination of Excolere’s thematic sourcing effort to invest in a high-quality middle market company serving young learners behind grade level.

EPS is a leading developer of curriculum products and services that enhance literacy and math skills for K-12 grade level students, particularly those that are two-plus years behind grade level. The Company's suite of products includes those that are based on Science of Reading principles and reading intervention strategies proven to effectively help students get back on grade level.

“There is an undisputed need for the solutions EPS provides, which effectively teach and remediate reading and math-related learning loss,” said Pete Davis, Partner at Excolere. “Given the systemic reading and math achievement issues in our country, compounded by COVID-19 learning loss, we believe EPS has a significant opportunity to serve young learners at scale.”

As part of the acquisition, Excolere appointed Education industry veteran Steven Guttentag as Chief Executive Officer of EPS. Steven is the former CEO of Reading Plus, a K-12 evidence-based online reading program, and former President and Co-founder of Pearson Online & Blended Learning. Along with Steven, Excolere recruited several other senior executives to join the EPS management team.

“Excolere’s partners have a proven track record of investing in and scaling Education companies, which makes them the right team to kickstart EPS’ journey as a standalone company,” said Steven Guttentag, CEO of EPS. “EPS has developed best-in-class literacy and math products to meet demanding market needs through its highly talented team and focus on improving student outcomes.”

“Steven Guttentag is a seasoned industry leader who brings over 20 years experience spearheading the growth of purpose-driven Education companies,” added Marcelus DeCoulode, Partner at Excolere. “We are confident we can help EPS realize its full potential as a standalone company and expand access to its mission-critical products.”

Excolere is joined in the investment by a consortium of investors including Cambridge Information Group (“CIG”), a family-owned investment firm with significant education investment experience.

Tyton Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to School Specialty. Lincoln International, TRIAGO, and DLA Piper respectively served as the exclusive debt advisor, private placement agent, and legal advisor to Excolere.

ABOUT EPS SCHOOL SPECIALTY

EPS is a leading developer of research-based supplemental curriculum products and services that enhance literacy and math skills for K-12 grade level students. The company offers a number of leading products including: SPIRE, Wordly Wise 3000, Primary Phonics, and Coach. For more invormation, please visit https://eps.schoolspecialty.com.

ABOUT EXCOLERE

Excolere Equity Partners is a middle market private equity firm specializing in investments in the the Education and Human Capital Management sector. Grounded in an understanding of the fundamental role that those sectors play in driving economic and societal progress, Excolere leverages its deep sector experience and strategic and operational expertise to accelerate the growth and enhance the impact of the companies in which it invests. For more information, please visit https://www.excolerepartners.com.

ABOUT CIG

CIG is a family-owned investment firm based in New York City and has a long tradition of building businesses through continuous reinvestment and close partnership with management teams. Founded in 1971, CIG's focus is on building companies for long-term success by reinvesting in the growth and development of existing portfolio companies as well as acquiring new businesses with sustainable growth and profitability. CIG's long-term investment perspective and commitment of personal time and resources differentiates us from traditional sources of private capital. For more information, please visit https://www.cig.com.

Contact:
Excolere
Julie Rudnick / Hayley Cook / Kevin Siegel
FGS Global
Excolere@FGSGlobal.com

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