February 2016

Southport, CT
 

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Carter Morse & Mathias ("CMM") is pleased to announce that Really Good Stuff, headquartered in Monroe, CT, was acquired by Excelligence Learning Corporation ("Excelligence"), headquartered in Monterey, CA and backed by the private equity firm Brentwood Associates. Carter Morse & Mathias served as Really Good Stuff's exclusive financial advisor for the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Really Good Stuff is a multi-channel marketer of innovative classroom products and teaching tools used primarily in grades K-8. Excelligence is a leading developer, manufacturer, distributor, and multi-channel retailer of over 20,000 educational products. The acquisition expands Excelligence's portfolio of brands, which until now primarily served pre-K early childhood programs and preschools, to include the much broader K-8th grade markets.

Commenting on the acquisition, Excelligence CEO Kelly Crampton said, "With acquisitions being a critical component of our five year strategic plan, Really Good Stuff represents a perfect archetype: strong brand equity, extremely loyal customers, complementary products and access to new market segments. We expect significant revenue synergies as we begin to leverage our respective core strengths."

Jim Bennett, Co-Founder and President of Really Good Stuff, added, "We are very excited about joining the Excelligence family. Really Good Stuff and Excelligence share a culture of product innovation and customer satisfaction. The acquisition provides us with greater resources to serve teachers, schools, and school districts throughout the country. Our growing sales force can leverage the strengths of the entire Excelligence network to create customized solutions for the largest school districts in the country."

Brentwood Associates, the majority owner of Excelligence, is a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm with over $1.4 billion of capital under management. Brentwood focuses on specialty retail, branded consumer products, consumer services, direct marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; education, health and wellness and restaurants.

Eric Reiter, a member of the board of directors of Excelligence and partner at Brentwood Associates, commented: "As we look forward, we expect strong benefits from the integration of Really Good Stuff. In addition, we remain optimistic about the opportunity for continued success in product innovation, growth in print and digital marketing, optimization across our global distribution and fulfillment platform, and progress in developing our pipeline of strategic acquisitions."

Michael Carter, Managing Director of CMM, explained, It is especially gratifying to represent a market leading company in a truly synergistic transaction where the owners are just as enthusiastic about running the business and building value post-closing as before the transaction closed. In order for this transaction to happen both companies needed to buy into the vision, which will surely make the combined entity an educational products powerhouse. We wish the management team continued success under their new partnership with Excelligence."

Really Good Stuff was represented by Mark de Regt and Shipman & Goodwin LLP. Excelligence was represented by Burr & Forman LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Antares Capital and Ares Capital Corporation provided debt financing supporting the acquisition in the form of an incremental term loan, in conjunction with Excelligence's existing lender, General Electric Capital Corporation.

For more information, please contact Michael Carter at Carter Morse & Mathias.

About Carter Morse & Mathias:

Founded in 1987, Carter Morse & Mathias is a boutique investment bank specializing in advising privately held middle market companies. CMM provides a full range of investment banking services: business sales and divestitures, equity and debt capital raises, acquisition services, and pre-transaction and strategic advisory services. Time and time again, our strategic guidance and seamless transaction execution has proven crucial for clients, many of whom we represent in their once-in-a-lifetime transaction. For nearly 30 years, CMM's combination of hands-on Managing Director involvement and extensive network of domestic and international resources has enabled us to help hundreds of business owners plan, execute, and close transactions that maximize shareholder value.

CMM's Broker/Dealer affiliate, Carter Capital Corporation, is a FINRA member firm registered with the SEC and SIPC. CMM is also a charter member of AICA, an international network of M&A professionals in over 20 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.