Courier Corp., which successfully entered the publishing business in 2000 with its purchase of Dover Publications, signed a definitive agreement last week to acquire Research & Education Association. Headquartered in Piscataway, N.J., REA is a publisher of test preparation and study guide books and software for the high school, college, graduate school and professional markets. It has annual sales of about $6 million.

REA was founded in 1959 by Max Fogiel and has been a longtime customer of Courier's book manufacturing division. According to Courier v-p Peter Tobin, Fogiel had been impressed with the way Dover was faring as part of Courier and approached the company about a deal. "They will be a nice fit into our specialty publishing business," Tobin said.

REA has a backlist of about 800 titles divided into a number of different lines including Problem Solvers, Essentials and Super Reviews. Following the acquisition, REA will operate as an autonomous unit of Courier. Courier plans to retain REA's 42-person staff.