Press Releases

RLJ Equity Partners, LLC Announces the Acquisition of Media Source, Inc.


BETHESDA, MD//NOVEMBER 9, 2011//RLJ Equity Partners, LLC (RLJ) today announced it has acquired Media Source, Inc. (MSI), the parent company of three businesses that promote and sell children’s books and a variety of services and products geared toward the library industry, including book collection development, magazine subscriptions, book reviews, websites, webinars, and conferences. RLJ Equity Partners, LLC was joined by 21st Century Group, LLC and New Canaan Funding Mezzanine, LLC in the transaction.

"We believe MSI is a very important company in terms of its contributions to improving library systems and public school systems," said Robert L. Johnson, founder of The RLJ Companies and chairman of RLJ Equity Partners. "We are pleased to own a company that is a trusted resource for librarians and school systems across the country and look forward to expanding in metropolitan markets domestically and internationally," he concluded.

Media Source is the leading provider of information content and editorial book reviews for academic, public, and school librarians serving tens of thousands of libraries and more than 100,000 librarians. MSI’s Junior Library Guild (JLG) division reviews thousands of new children’s books each year and selects the best titles in more than 40 different categories. Its School Library Journal, Library Journal, and Horn Book divisions provide critical information and reviews to the library market via digital and print media products.

“We surveyed over 900 librarians and they absolutely love the book selections of JLG. In addition, almost all were subscribers to the Library Journal or School Library Journal,” said Daphne Dufresne, Managing Director of RLJ Equity Partners. “We are excited about partnering with MSI, a company with such dominant brands, a strong management team, and a proven track record in delivering quality products and services,” she concluded.

W. Kelvinn Walker, a Partner at 21st Century Group, says: "We are excited about this investment and look forward to partnering with RLJ and the management team of Media Source. We expect that this partnership with RLJ and management, combined with several important initiatives, will be a catalyst for significant growth in the future."

“We are delighted to join with RLJ Equity Partners and we are confident MSI will continue to thrive and expand our national presence in the library markets with RLJ management and expertise,” said Randy Asmo, CEO of Media Source, Inc.

About RLJ Equity Partners: RLJ Equity Partners is a middle-market private equity firm focused on generating long-term capital appreciation by investing in profitable and growing businesses led by strong management teams. Founded in 2006 by Robert L. Johnson in partnership with The Carlyle Group, RLJ originates structures and invests in traditional buy-outs, recapitalizations, and growth capital infusions. RLJ Equity Partners is a portfolio company of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network founded by Robert L. Johnson. For additional information please visit: and

About Media Source, Inc.: Media Source, Inc. serves the library community by combining school and public library expertise with access to some of the most respected brands and best minds in the world of children’s and young adult literature, collection development, and library management. Subsidiary companies include: Junior Library Guild, The Horn Book, Library Journal and School Library Journal. For additional information visit:

About 21st Century Group, LLC: 21st Century Group, LLC, based in Dallas, Texas and founded in 1998, is a private equity firm focused on lower middle market companies with revenues typically between $15 million and $150 million, and EBITDA between $5 million and $20 million. 21st Century Group seeks investment opportunities across the United States in a broad range of industry sectors. For additional information please visit:


RLJ Equity Partners Contact:

Daphne Dufresne 240.744.7805

The RLJ Companies Media Contact:

Traci Otey Blunt 240.744.7858

21st Century Group Contact:

W. Kelvin Walker 214.965.7973