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Barnes & Noble Education Acquires PaperRater.com

Aug 22, 2018

Deepens Investment in Student Writing Services Franchise

Expands Writing Services into Plagiarism, Revision and AI-based Auto-Scoring

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE:BNED), a leading provider of educational products and services solutions for higher education and K-12, today announced that it has acquired PaperRater.com (“PaperRater”), a leading website that offers students a suite of writing services that includes a plagiarism checker, writing revision tools and an AI-based auto-grading scoring system to help them improve multiple facets of their writing.

Founded in 2009, PaperRater has more than 18 million submissions of English language content, adding millions of pieces of new content each year, from essays and dissertations to personal narratives and speeches, and represents a significant expansion of BNED’s digital content library. PaperRater’s operations will become part of the Company’s Digital Student Solutions (“DSS”) business segment, and will further strengthen its existing proprietary content database, as well as significantly increase monetization opportunities for the websites purchased in the Student Brands acquisition last August.

“Proficiency in writing continues to be a struggle for millions of students in both high school and college, and is critical to success in the workplace upon graduation,” said Kanuj Malhotra, President of Digital Student Solutions for Barnes & Noble Education. “Our goal is to provide services to students throughout the entire writing process. PaperRater allows us to accelerate our plans to provide a ‘Triple Play’ writing service that bundles plagiarism detection, writing revision and essay auto-scoring capabilities to our existing and prospective users as we build out our ecosystem of student services. PaperRater bolsters capabilities of the Student Brands acquisition and solves multiple pain points for an even larger addressable market of students. Our acquisition strategy has demonstrated our ability to capture synergies and deliver growth, and we expect similar results with PaperRater.”

BNED acquired PaperRater on August 21, 2018 in an all-cash transaction. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to BNED's EBITDA, Net Income and Cash Flow in FY2019.

ABOUT BARNES & NOBLE EDUCATION, INC.

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED) is a leading provider of higher education and K-12 educational products and solutions. Through its Barnes & Noble College and MBS Textbook Exchange segments, Barnes & Noble Education operates 1,437 physical and virtual bookstores across the U.S., serving more than 6 million students and faculty. Through its Digital Student Solutions segment, the Company offers a suite of digital software, content and services including direct-to-student study tools, serving approximately 100,000 subscribers in more than 15 countries and receiving more than 20 million unique monthly visitors to its sites. The Company also operates one of the largest textbook wholesale distribution channels in the United States. For more information please visit www.bned.com.

BNED companies include: Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC, BNED LoudCloud, LLC, Student Brands, LLC, and Promoversity, LLC. General information on Barnes & Noble Education may be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website: www.bned.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and information relating to us and our business that are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to our management. When used in this communication, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “forecasts,” “projections,” and similar expressions, as they relate to us or our management, identify forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the future events and trends discussed in this press release may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events, the outcome of which is subject to certain risks, including, among others: general competitive conditions, including actions our competitors and content providers may take to grow their businesses; a decline in college enrollment or decreased funding available for students; decisions by colleges and universities to outsource their physical and/or online bookstore operations or change the operation of their bookstores; the general economic environment and consumer spending patterns; decreased consumer demand for our products, low growth or declining sales; the strategic objectives, successful integration, anticipated synergies, and/or other expected potential benefits of various acquisitions, including MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC and Student Brands, LLC, may not be fully realized or may take longer than expected; the integration of MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC’s operations into our own may also increase the risk of our internal controls being found ineffective; implementation of our digital strategy may not result in the expected growth in our digital sales and/or profitability; risk that digital sales growth does not exceed the rate of investment spend; the performance of our online, digital and other initiatives, integration of and deployment of, additional products and services including new digital channels, and enhancements to higher education digital products, and the inability to achieve the expected cost savings; our ability to successfully implement our strategic initiatives including our ability to identify, compete for and execute upon additional acquisitions and strategic investments; risks associated with operation or performance of MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC’s point-of-sales systems that are sold to college bookstore customers; changes to purchase or rental terms, payment terms, return policies, the discount or margin on products or other terms with our suppliers; technological changes; risks associated with counterfeit and piracy of digital and print materials; our international operations could result in additional risks; our ability to attract and retain employees; the risk of price reduction or change in format of course materials by publishers, which could negatively impact revenues and margin; risks associated with data privacy, information security and intellectual property; trends and challenges to our business and in the locations in which we have stores; non-renewal of managed bookstore, physical and/or online store contracts and higher-than-anticipated store closings; disruptions to our information technology systems, infrastructure and data due to computer malware, viruses, hacking and phishing attacks, resulting in harm to our business and results of operations; disruption of or interference with third party web service providers and our own proprietary technology; work stoppages or increases in labor costs; possible increases in shipping rates or interruptions in shipping service; product shortages, including risks associated with merchandise sourced indirectly from outside the United States; changes in domestic and international laws or regulations, including U.S. tax reform, changes in tax rates, laws and regulations, as well as related guidance; enactment of laws which may restrict or prohibit our use of emails or similar marketing activities; the amount of our indebtedness and ability to comply with covenants applicable to any future debt financing; our ability to satisfy future capital and liquidity requirements; our ability to access the credit and capital markets at the times and in the amounts needed and on acceptable terms; adverse results from litigation, governmental investigations, tax-related proceedings, or audits; changes in accounting standards; and the other risks and uncertainties detailed in the section titled “Risk Factors” in Part I - Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 28, 2018. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results or outcomes may vary materially from those described as anticipated, believed, estimated, expected, intended or planned. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this press release.

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.
Media:
Carolyn J. Brown, 908-991-2967
Vice President
Corporate Communications
cbrown@bned.com
or
Investors:
Thomas Donohue, 908-991-2966
Senior Vice President
Treasurer and Investor Relations
tdonohue@bned.com

Source: Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.

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Investor Contacts

INVESTOR RELATIONS
Tom Donohue
SVP, Investor Relations and Treasurer
(908) 991-2966
tdonohue@bned.com
MEDIA INQUIRIES
Carolyn J. Brown
SVP, Corporate Communications
(908) 991-2967
cbrown@bned.com
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