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Former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld Joins Leeds Equity Partners, New York-Based Private Equity Firm; Firm to be Renamed Leeds Weld & Co.

Business Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2000

Former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld will join the New York-based private equity firm of Leeds Equity Partners, it was announced today. Mr. Weld will become a general partner and the firm will be renamed Leeds Weld & Co.

Mr. Weld's partnership and the name change will be effective January 1, 2001.

Leeds Equity Partners is a private equity firm whose most recent fund, Leeds Equity Partners III, is the largest private equity fund in the United States focused on investments in the $750 billion education and training industry. The firm's Board of Advisors includes: John P. Rochon, Chairman of Richmont, a merchant banking, investment and trading company located in Dallas; Lamar Alexander, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former Governor of Tennessee; Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty, III, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration; Richard L. Beattie, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and former General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter Administration; Chris Whittle, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Schools, Inc.; Elliot Royce, Senior Vice President of GE Equity; and James R. Hedges, Founder and Managing Director of LJH Global Investments. The Fund is currently co-chaired by Messrs. Weld and Rochon.

Jeffrey T. Leeds, co-founder and partner of Leeds Equity Partners, stated, "We are thrilled to welcome Bill Weld, and to recognize, with our name change, his past contributions as co-chair and his prospective contributions as a partner in the firm. Bill is enormously talented and brings to us great experience in both the public and private sector."

Robert A. Bernstein, co-founder and partner of Leeds Equity Partners, added "Over the past 18 months, serving as co-chair, Bill has been invaluable sourcing deals, assessing opportunities and serving on boards of portfolio companies. We are fortunate now to have him as a member of the firm."

Added Mr. Weld, "The world-wide transition from an industrial age to an age of information brings enormous opportunities for private equity investment. The education and training sector, the focus of our most recent fund, is one example. We will continue to work within this industry, as well as develop new investment themes and ideas arising out of the emergent information age global economy."

Commenting on the name change, Mr. Leeds said, "We are proud also to follow the legacy of another financial firm, White Weld & Co. That firm, founded by Bill Weld's great-grandfather and grandfather, and later chaired by his father, represented excellence in all respects."

About Mr. Weld

Mr. Weld served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, where he was credited with improving the business climate in Massachusetts by reducing taxes and state regulations on business. He was an active supporter of the charter school movement and served as a national co-chair of the Privatization Council.

Prior to becoming Governor, Mr. Weld served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC (1986-1988) and as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts during the Reagan Administration (1981-1986). Most recently, he has been a partner at the international law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, where he managed the firm's New York office.

Mr. Weld is a director of Affiliated Managers Group, Edison Schools Inc., IDT Corporation, and Ross University.

A 1966 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, William Weld received his diploma in international economics, with distinction, in 1967 from Oxford University. In 1970, he received his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

About Mr. Leeds

Prior to co-founding Leeds Equity Partners in 1993, Mr. Leeds specialized in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance at the investment banking firm of Lazard Freres & Co. Mr. Leeds, who is also a lawyer, served as a law clerk to the Hon. William J. Brennan, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1985 October Term. Upon graduation from law school and before clerking for Justice Brennan, Mr. Leeds joined the corporate department of the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York.

Mr. Leeds currently serves as a director of a number of for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Currently he is a member of the board of directors of Edison Schools Inc., Argosy Education Group, Elsinore Corporation, Shopforschool, DataMark Systems, Inc. RealPage, Inc., Ross University and TransAct Technologies, Inc. He serves as a Trustee of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and is a director of Wildcat Service Corporation.

Mr. Leeds graduated from Yale University (B.A., history, summa cum laude, 1978), attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1983).

About Leeds Equity Partners

Leeds Equity Partners is a New York-based private equity firm whose most recent fund, Leeds Equity Partners III, is the largest private equity fund in the United States focused on investments in the $750 billion education and training industry. Among the board members are: Co-Chairman William F. Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General; Co-Chairman John P. Rochon, Chairman of Richmont, a merchant banking, investment and trading company; Lamar Alexander, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former Governor of Tennessee; Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty, III, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration; Richard L. Beattie, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and former General Counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter Administration; Chris Whittle, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Edison Schools, Inc.; Elliot Royce, Senior Vice President of GE Equity; and James R. Hedges, Founder and Managing Director of LJH Global Investments.

Leeds' current portfolio of companies in the education and training sector includes Ross University, Quisic (formerly known as University Access), Cognitive Arts, Shopforschool, Inc., InterWise, Ltd., DataMark Systems, Inc. and Medschool.com.
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Date:Dec 13, 2000
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