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Barnes & Noble Education acquires Student Brands for $58.5M

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Barnes & Noble Education Inc., a Basking Ridge provider of educational products, announced Friday it has acquired Student Brands for $58.5 million.

Student brands is an educational technology company with multiple digital properties, including 123HelpMe.com, Bartleby.com and StudyMode.com in the U.S. and TrabalhosFeitos.com, Etudier.com and Monografias.com in Brazil, France and Mexico, respectively.

“The acquisition of Student Brands enables BNED to maintain and expand our leadership position in the distribution and provision of educational services and content. The lack of writing proficiency is one of the most significant challenges in our education system, and Student Brands provides a significant opportunity to serve this market with solutions that improve student performance. BNED serves one in four higher education students every year, and through our recent acquisition of MBS, we have expanded our market reach to even more students in both higher education and K-12. The addition of Student Brands and its nearly 100,000 subscribers will enable us to offer products and services directly to our current student base and beyond,” Kanuj Malhotra, chief operating officer, digital education, BNED, said.

The company said the acquisition builds on its growth into digital learning, and will further enhance its ability to support partner schools’ retention efforts.

“We help millions of students every month with the critical skills that they need to succeed — whether it’s writing a paper for class or drafting a college application essay. As student demand for extra help with writing and study tools continues to grow, we are delighted to be joining forces with a company whose scale, resources and expertise will help drive further innovation in our products and expand our addressable market,” said Thomas Swalla, CEO, Student Brands. “Barnes & Noble Education shares our mission to provide students with innovative solutions to solve a growing range of academic challenges. We are confident that this is an ideal combination and we are thrilled to begin working with our new colleagues.”

Student Brands will operate as part of BNED’s digital operations. Swalla will remain as CEO of Student Brands and the current leadership will join BNED as employees. Student Brands will remain at its offices in Los Angeles, California and India.

Cyndx Advisors LLC was the financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal counsel to BNED. Vaquero Capital LLC was the financial advisor and LKP Global Law LLP served as legal counsel to Student Brands.

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