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January 4, 2006

Charlesbank Capital Partners Acquires WorldStrides

Charlesbank Capital Partners has announced the acquisition of WorldStrides in partnership with management and Silverhawk Capital Partners. WorldStrides, based in Charlottesville, VA, is the leading provider of supplemental educational student travel courses, offering programs to more than 200,000 students across 4,700 middle and high schools in all 50 states. Senior financing was underwritten by GE/Antares and second-lien financing was provided by Oak Hill Advisors and Ares Capital. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1967, WorldStrides operates educational history and science programs in the United States and Costa Rica and music performance programs at various locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. WorldStrides’ staff works with teachers to develop customized courses that meet specific curriculum requirements and also handles all logistics, accommodations, meals, billing and event planning.

“We are impressed by WorldStrides’ strong relationships with its teacher, hotel and airline partners, and by the company’s long track record of reliable and safe program execution,” says Brandon White, Managing Director, Charlesbank Capital Partners. “We look forward to working closely with WorldStrides’ talented management team to continue to grow the education and performance businesses and to explore new avenues for growth.”

“We take pride in offering customers and vendors the best service possible before, during and after the dates of travel,” says WorldStrides CEO Jim Hall, a 24-year veteran of the company. “We are delighted to have Charlesbank and Silverhawk as our financial partners and believe they will be a valuable strategic resource as we move ahead.”


Based in Boston and New York, Charlesbank Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $2 billion of capital. Charlesbank focuses on management-led buyouts and growth capital financings, typically investing $50 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. Visit for more information.