PE-backed Excelligence buys Really Good Stuff


Excelligence Learning Corporation, a portfolio company of Brentwood Associates, acquired Really Good Stuff, a teaching supply company. Financial terms were not disclosed. Antares Capital and Ares Capital Corporation provided debt financing for the deal.

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm, announced that its portfolio company, Excelligence Learning Corporation (“Excelligence”), has acquired Really Good Stuff, Inc. (“Really Good Stuff”). Really Good Stuff, which is headquartered in Monroe, Connecticut, is a multi-channel marketer of innovative classroom products and teaching tools used primarily in grades K-8. 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. Really Good Stuff, which will continue to be led by Co-Founder and President Jim Bennett, will both complement and derive significant synergies from Excelligence’s core brand, Discount School Supply.

Founded in 1992, Really Good Stuff works side-by-side with educators to develop and market creative products for teachers that address a broad range of classroom needs. Marketing through its print, digital, and social media channels, as well as its dedicated sales force, the company offers over 7,500 items, with a range of product categories that include classroom organizers and storage; teacher supplies and management tools; bulletin boards and posters; and games and activities. With over 500 new products introduced annually, Really Good Stuff is the innovation leader in its markets served.

Founded in 1985, Excelligence is a leading developer, manufacturer, distributor, and multi-channel retailer of over 20,000 educational products, which are sold primarily to pre-K early childhood programs, preschools, PTAs, and consumers. The company provides a full-line selection of branded, private label, and proprietary products across several categories, including arts and crafts, infant and toddler, active play, dramatic play, furniture and equipment, math, language, and science. The Discount School Supply brand represents the company’s largest business segment and is a market leader in the arts and crafts category. In addition to its headquarters in Monterey, California, the company operates five distribution facilities throughout the U.S., providing for fast and cost-effective delivery.

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 are thrilled to partner with Jim and his team at Really Good Stuff, and we expect significant revenue synergies as we being to leverage our respective core strengths.” Crampton continued, “Most importantly, we believe the Really Good Stuff team has maintained a culture of highest integrity and ethical standards with an unwavering dedication to their core customer that is at the cornerstone of our success.”

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. We look forward to maintaining our laser focus on today’s classroom, introducing fun and creative products that help teachers make a difference. 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.”

“With the goal of building a world-class, multi-category educational products and services organization, Really Good Stuff represents the beginning of an exciting expansion into grades K-8. We plan to invest significant resources in this new partnership, with the goal of delivering even greater value for the teachers, schools, parents and children we serve,” explained Eric Reiter, a member of the board of directors of Excelligence and partner at Brentwood Associates. “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.”

Really Good Stuff was advised by Carter Morse & Mathias and 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.

ABOUT REALLY GOOD STUFF, INC.

Really Good Stuff, Inc. is a branded, multi-channel designer and marketer of classroom products and teaching tools, primarily serving grades K-8. The company markets its products through its print, digital and social media channels, as well as its dedicated sales force. Product categories include organizers and storage; teacher supplies and management tools; bulletin boards and posters; and games and activities. The company’s goal is to provide teachers with high quality, affordable, and innovative tools to help make a difference in children’s lives. For more information about Really Good Stuff, please visit www.reallygoodstuff.com.

ABOUT EXCELLIGENCE LEARNING CORPORATION

Excelligence Learning Corporation is a leading developer, manufacturer, distributor, and multi-channel retailer of educational products, which are sold primarily to pre-K early childhood programs, preschools, PTAs, and consumers. Brands within the Excelligence portfolio include: Discount School Supply (www.discountschoolsupply.com), SmarterKids (www.smarterkids.com), Environments (www.environments.com), Angeles (www.angelesstore.com), Achievement Products (www.achievement-products.com), Educational Products, Inc. (www.educationalproducts.com), Early Childhood Manufacturers’ Direct (www.ecmdstore.com), and Earlychildhood News (www.earlychildhoodnews.com). Excelligence offers a broad array of educational products designed for classroom use, enhanced by its extensive proprietary product development program. Leading proprietary brands include: Colorations, BioColor, and Excellerations. For more information about Excelligence, please visit www.excelligence.com.

ABOUT BRENTWOOD ASSOCIATES

Brentwood Associates is a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm with over $1.4 billion of capital under management and a 30-year history of investing in leading middle-market growth companies. Brentwood focuses on investments in growing businesses where it is able to leverage its extensive experience in areas such as: specialty retail; branded consumer products; consumer services; direct marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; education; health and wellness; and restaurants. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in 49 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $6 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner with entrepreneurs and senior management teams building world-class companies. For more information about Brentwood, please visit www.brentwood.com.