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Courier Corporation to Acquire Research & Education Association

Press release from the issuing company

NORTH CHELMSFORD, Mass.--Dec. 15, 2003-- Courier Corporation, one of America's leading book manufacturers and specialty publishers, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Research & Education Association (REA), a privately held publisher of test preparation and study guide books and software for high school, college, graduate students, and professionals. Under the terms of the agreement, Courier will purchase the assets of REA for an undisclosed amount of cash. Founded in 1959 and based in Piscataway, New Jersey, REA publishes more than 800 titles spanning a broad range of academic content, virtually all of which it owns outright. REA's product lines, which include Problem Solvers, Essentials, Super Reviews, and Test Preparation books, have long been highly regarded by both students and teachers. They are sold in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world through major bookseller chains, college bookstores, teachers' supply stores and the website, www.rea.com with total annual sales of approximately $6 million. "We are very pleased to welcome REA into the Courier family," said James F. Conway III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Courier. "REA has been a pioneer in the development of accessible yet academically sound study guides for students at all levels. It has also regularly updated its products to take advantage of emerging markets and to comply with federal and state educational initiatives, including the recent No Child Left Behind Act. "Equally important, REA has succeeded financially with a business model based on proprietary content, which is unusual in the publishing industry but similar to the approach used in our other specialty publishing unit, Dover Publications. We believe REA's proven content generation capabilities, strong backlist, and excellent reputation will make it a valuable complement to Dover, opening up additional content and distribution opportunities in both businesses. Also, like Dover, REA has already been a Courier book manufacturing customer and should benefit from closer integration with our manufacturing operations." Mr. Conway indicated that Courier expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter of its 2004 fiscal year. Mr. Conway said he expects the acquisition to have minimal impact on earnings in fiscal 2004, and to contribute positively in 2005 and beyond. Following completion of the acquisition, REA will operate autonomously under Courier's ownership, retaining all 42 current employees. REA's founder and President, Dr. Max Fogiel, will turn over responsibility for day-to-day operations to other members of REA's current management team, but will continue to provide editorial support for new REA titles. "Over more than 40 years, Research & Education Association has become virtually synonymous with innovative learning and study materials," noted Dr. Fogiel. "It has been an honor to lead REA through a long period of growth and financial success while helping generations of students and teachers. "Having known Courier for more than 30 years, I am particularly pleased to be joining forces with this outstanding company," said Dr. Fogiel. "Courier's extensive resources complement our own and open the door to a new era of even greater opportunity for our customers as well as our employees. I am convinced that Courier is the ideal company to continue our tradition of innovation and help us grow in new directions."