SOURCE: Charlesbank Capital Partners

June 17, 2008 14:49 ET

WorldStrides, Charlesbank Portfolio Company, Announces Two Acquisitions: Field Studies Center of New York and Accent Travel Group

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - WorldStrides, a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners, has made two acquisitions: the Field Studies Center of New York and Accent Travel Group. An accredited supplemental travel school based in Charlottesville, VA, WorldStrides offers educational student travel programs in history, science and the arts to destinations across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Europe and Asia.

Field Studies Center of New York, established in 1969, specializes in student travel programs focusing especially on the performing arts. A logical product extension particularly to WorldStrides' musical programs, the acquisition will allow WorldStrides' students to participate in one of Field Studies Center's most popular programs -- the opportunity for middle- and high-school choirs, bands and orchestras to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Since its inception in 1977, Accent Travel Group has been the leading US provider of international study programs for graduate and undergraduate business students. The partnership with WorldStrides will give both companies the opportunity to expand their existing travel programs and to foster their reputations as the leaders in their respective fields. Accent will continue to conduct business with its current Philadelphia-based management team and staff and through its long-established industry relationships to deliver over 100 travel programs geared toward the adult student market.

Charlesbank Capital Partners has held a majority interest in WorldStrides since 2005. Brandon White, a Charlesbank Managing Director, says, "We see great potential from the Field Studies acquisition and the opportunity it offers for students to perform at one of the world's top musical venues, Carnegie Hall. With Accent, the expansion into adult study and travel programs offers a broad new spectrum for future growth."

WorldStrides CEO Jim Hall adds, "These companies share a common mission with WorldStrides to enrich students' lives through experiential travel. I am proud of our shared values and excited for the expanded opportunities these partnerships will bring to our organization and our clients."

About WorldStrides

WorldStrides, founded in 1967, is based in Charlottesville, VA, and employs over 400 full-time employees in 15 offices around the US. Due to its exceptional accredited status given by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS), WorldStrides is the first organization of its kind considered a supplemental education school. In total, about 200,000 students from across the nation travel with WorldStrides each year.

About Charlesbank

With offices in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing approximately $1.6 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, typically investing $25 million to $150 million per transaction in companies with enterprise values of $100 million to $750 million. The firm seeks to partner with strong management teams to build companies with sustainable competitive advantages and excellent prospects for growth. Charlesbank is currently investing through Charlesbank Equity Fund VI, an approximately $1 billion fund. For more information, visit www.charlesbank.com.

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