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Veronis Suhler Stevenson Represents Saxon Publishers, Inc. in Sale to Harcourt Achieve

NEW YORK , June 30, 2004 Harcourt Achieve, a unit of global education provider Harcourt, has acquired Saxon Publishers, Inc., a leading publisher of skills-based instructional materials for grades pre-K through 12 in mathematics, phonics, and early childhood. Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a New York-based merchant bank devoted to the media and communications industry, acted as Saxon's investment banking advisor in the transaction.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson Managing Director Robert J. Broadwater represented Saxon in the sale. This is the third educational publishing transaction the firm has handled in the past year, following VSS’ representation of Information Holdings Inc. (NYSE: IHI) in the sale of Transcender LLC and Total Applied Science Associates (NASDAQ: TASA.OB) in the sale of Modern Learning Press.

"Saxon has been a great educational publishing success since its founding in 1981. The company has a history of innovation and creativity and a commitment to improving mathematics education in America," said Mr. Broadwater. John Saxon’s original vision of the importance of an incremental pedagogical approach emphasizing practice, review and frequent cumulative assessment has been borne out in today’s education market where research-based solutions and, more importantly, well-documented results are required. And backed by the resources and commitment of Harcourt, Saxon has an even brighter future.”

Saxon Math is the nation’s best selling skills-based mathematics program for grades K-12 and a leader in the “alternate basal” math segment. Incorporating 20 years of research and field experience, Saxon Math is one of the most thoroughly researched programs available to K-12 math educators. Other Saxon programs include Saxon Phonics and Spelling K-3, and Saxon Early Learning.

According to John H. Saxon III, speaking on behalf of the Saxon Family, “Over the years we have been approached by many companies interested in acquiring Saxon. I am pleased to say we believe Harcourt has the experience, resources and the commitment to further our father’s vision and to continue the success of the company he founded.”

“It has been a pleasure and a distinct privilege to work with Saxon on this transaction” said Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s Broadwater. “The commitment of the company’s shareholders to improving education in America and the skill and professionalism of CEO Gerard Smith and his management team have created a great success story in American education.”

About Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Veronis Suhler Stevenson is a leading independent private equity firm dedicated to the media, communications and information industries. Veronis Suhler Stevenson has completed over 630 transactions since its inception in 1981. The firm has acted as a financial advisor across the full spectrum of media, communication and information segments and provides the following services: private equity investment and mergers & acquisitions advisory services. VS&A Communications Partners III, LP is the third private equity fund managed by Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Capitalized at over $1 billion, it is one of the largest private equity funds dedicated exclusively to investments in the media, communications and information industries. The VSS Private Equity buyout funds have invested in 33 platform companies and 153 add-on acquisitions, across multiple media segments; the realized and unrealized enterprise value of these investments total approximately $7 billion.

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