Harcourt Achieve, a supplemental publishing division of Harcourt Inc., has reached an agreement to acquire Saxon Publishers for an undisclosed price. Based in Norman, Okla., Saxon is a publisher of skills-based instructional materials for grades pre-k through 12 in math, phonics and early childhood development.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the month, after which Saxon will become a stand-alone company within Harcourt Achieve. The company is best known for Saxon Math, an "alternate basal" program for grades k—12. Other programs include Saxon Phonics and Spelling k-3, and Saxon Early Learning. Julie McGee, CEO of Harcourt Achieve's Professional and Trade group, said the addition of Saxon will "balance" Harcourt Achieve's portfolio, "which had been weighted toward reading and language arts." Harcourt Achieve's other main divisions are Steck-Vaughn and Rigby.

Saxon was founded in 1981 by John Saxon and has been owned by Saxon's four children, who serve on the company's board though they are not involved in the day-to-day operation of the company. Since 2001, Saxon has been headed by Gerard Smith. The company has about 250 employees and estimated sales of between $70 million and $80 million.