Siena Lending Group LLC (“Siena”), announces the completion of a three-year senior secured credit facility for Encyclopædia Britannica and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Merriam-Webster (together, the “Company”). The credit facility, which included an asset based revolver and a term loan, was used to refinance existing senior debt and to provide additional working capital for the businesses in the U.S.
Portage Point Partners worked in partnership with the Company’s management team to formulate an organizational restructuring and performance improvement plan, as well as provided debt advisory leading to a successful refinancing.
With roots dating back to 1768 as a general knowledge encyclopedia, Encyclopædia Britannica has evolved into a leading provider of high-quality digital teaching solutions for the K-12 educational market and online reference materials primarily for the general public. Britannica’s reference sites, deliver fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information on almost any topic, and Britannica’s digital teaching solutions deliver curriculum-aligned educational materials that are widely used by teachers to teach the curriculum in the classrooms.
Originally founded in 1828, Merriam-Webster publishes various reference books, including dictionaries, thesauruses, language translation aides, etc.; and maintains several websites and apps that provide free access to an online dictionary, thesaurus, educational videos, vocabulary building quizzes, and interactives targeting the vocabulary learning needs of native speakers of English, as well as learners of English. Merriam-Webster is the oldest dictionary publisher in America has “turned itself into a social media powerhouse over the past few years.”
David Grende, President and CEO of Siena Lending Group, said, “We are very pleased to provide the credit facility to Encyclopædia Britannica and Merriam-Webster, two iconic brands, allowing the Company to continue to expand and develop in the digital academic and language resource sectors. We were able to understand the Company’s evolution and unique business model and provide a flexible financing solution to meet its needs.”
Jorge Cauz, President of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. said, “Siena’s custom solutions meet Britannica’s unique business needs superbly. They will be an excellent partner for us as we pursue new growth opportunities and, at the same time, efficiently manage the seasonal nature of our business.”