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M. Lee Smith Publishers Receives Equity Infusion



Brentwood, TN, August 29, 2007 - M. Lee Smith Publishers announced today that Prairie Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm, has made a $15 million equity investment in the company.

Dan Oswald, President of M. Lee Smith Publishers commented, "I'm excited about the opportunities Prairie Capital's investment creates for the company. Our plan is to build MLSP into one of the country's leading specialized information companies."

Prairie Capital provided some of the debt that allowed Oswald to acquire the company from its founder, M. Lee Smith, in January 2005. Since that time they have had a minority stake in the business and two members of Prairie's team have served on MLSP's advisory board. It is expected that this infusion of capital will allow the company to grow significantly both through new product launches and acquisition.

Steve Groya, managing director at Prairie, stated, "M. Lee Smith Publishers is a company with a strong, recognizable brand and quality products. We at Prairie are confident that the company's experienced management team can build MLSP into a major business-to-business media company. We're looking forward to continuing what has proven to be an exciting and profitable partnership."

NewStar Financial, Inc provided financing for the transaction by serving as the Sole Lender and Administrative Agent. "NewStar is pleased to be supporting M. Lee Smith Publishers and Prairie Capital and we look forward to working with the Company as it continues to grow its business and launch new and unique specialized information products," said Ernie Panos, a Managing Director in NewStar's middle market originations division.

About M. Lee Smith Publishers

Started in 1975 with the publication of the still-successful The Tennessee Journal, M. Lee Smith Publishers today offers more than 130 nationally-acclaimed newsletters, videos, software, books, and directories to attorneys, human resources professionals, and other business executives. The company works with many of the nation's most prestigious law firms and other subject-matter experts to provide the most authoritative and timely information to the markets it serves.

About Prairie Capital

Prairie Capital makes equity and mezzanine investments of between $5 and $25 million, typically in support of companies undergoing an ownership change. With over $500 million under management through its four funds, Prairie Capital focuses on the lower end of the middle market, partnering with management and/or other private equity investors to effect a recapitalization or buyout. Since the firm's inception in 1997, Prairie Capital has completed more than sixty equity and mezzanine investments in small and mid-sized businesses. Prairie is based in Chicago and invests nationwide.

About NewStar Financial

NewStar, which is headquartered in Boston MA, is a specialized commercial finance company focused on meeting the financing needs of customers in the middle market through their corporate, commercial real estate, and structured products groups.

CONTACT:
Peter McPherson
Creative Marketing Manager
M. Lee Smith Publishers LLC
(615)-661-0249, ext 8057 or pmcpherson@mleesmith.com

 

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