Education Futures Group, LLC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2005
Contact: Lauren B. Sinai

Education Futures Group, LLC Formed to Acquire Post-Secondary Education Companies

Industry Veteran Jim Tolbert Teams With Prospect Partners to Pursue Smaller Schools in Secondary Markets

CHICAGO, Ill.—June 20, 2005: Jim Tolbert, the former Chief Financial Officer of Education Corporation of America ("ECA"), a leading operator of post-secondary schools in the southeastern United States, has formed Education Futures Group, LLC ("EFG"), a new firm focused exclusively on the acquisition of accredited post-secondary education operating companies throughout the United States. Education Futures Group has teamed with Prospect Partners, LLC, a private equity investment firm headquartered in Chicago, to help it identify and qualify acquisition opportunities. Mr. Tolbert and Prospect Partners were partners and investors in ECA from 1999 through 2004.

Prospect Partners and Education Futures Group will focus on acquisition opportunities where the target companies could benefit from an operationally-oriented buyer with a strong capital base. Most important, Prospect Partners and EFG are experienced buyers in the education market and can navigate today's regulatory hurdles to complete a transaction.

EFG will focus on smaller schools -- those with revenues between $1 million and $10 million in secondary markets across the United States. Prospect Partners and EFG have committed over $10 million of equity capital to fund these acquisitions.

"Jim is a seasoned executive with tremendous experience, capability and creditability in the post-secondary education industry. Jim and the Education Futures team will be excellent partners to smaller post-secondary schools," says Louis W. Kenter, a Principal at Prospect Partners. "The success of ECA speaks to his experience building and growing post-secondary schools. Jim has a great ability to anticipate, identify and profitability capitalize on opportunities in the marketplace which foster growth."

Mr. Tolbert left ECA in January, 2005, to pursue new opportunities, including the formation of Education Futures Group.

"I am excited about the opportunity to once again team with Prospect Partners to identify post-secondary education companies with exceptional potential," Mr. Tolbert says.

Mr. Tolbert continues to serve on the Executive Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Career College Association.

Prior to forming Education Futures Group, Mr. Tolbert was Chief Financial Officer and a minority owner of Education Corporation of America, a former portfolio company of Prospect Partners. Prospect Partners and ECA management, including Mr. Tolbert, formed ECA in 1999 to acquire Virginia College, then an $11 million post-secondary technical school with two campuses in Alabama. Over the next five years, ECA grew to nine campuses in four southeastern states and approximately $60 million in revenues. In December 2004, Prospect Partners and management recapitalized ECA with another financial buyer, which became the lead investor in the company.

For more information on Education Futures Group, contact Mr. Tolbert at 205-283-7416, or by email at jet@educationfg.com.

About Prospect Partners, LLC

Prospect Partners, LLC, of Chicago, Illinois is a leading investor in unique lower-middle-market companies, managing two private equity funds totaling $270 million. Since its founding in 1998, Prospect Partners has focused on management-led leveraged acquisitions and has invested in more than 45 small niche leaders with revenues typically between $10 and $30 million; the company's investments span many niche consumer, specialty distribution and service markets throughout the United States. For more information on Prospect Partners, please visit www.prospect-partners.com

 

 

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