New York, December 13, 1999 — Professional and educational media company Haights Cross Communications announced today that it has acquired Chelsea House, a young adult library publisher; Educational Design, a test preparation company; and Recorded Books, an audio book publisher. With today’s acquisitions the company will have ten educational and professional media companies and its 1999 sales will exceed $150 million. Other properties include Oakstone Publishing, Coriolis and Sundance.
According to Chairman and CEO Peter J. Quandt, “Our goal is to serve students, teachers and professionals with the highest quality content delivered in the most user friendly way. Whether delivered through traditional formats or through the Internet, the backlists and content libraries of these companies provide great opportunities to Haights Cross in the information revolution taking place today. All three companies are well known to teachers and librarians for their superb quality.”
Chelsea House, founded in 1966, is best known for multi-volume reference series such as Bloom’s Notes, the literary criticism series edited by Yale professor Harold Bloom, and The Growth of Presidential Power, edited by Pulitzer-prize winner Arthur Schlesinger. Chelsea House’s backlist of over 2,300 titles is one of the deepest in library publishing. Chelsea House is located near Philadelphia.
Educational Design is the leading publisher of test preparation materials for state and national tests. It is growing rapidly due to the increased importance placed on testing throughout the nation. Already dominating the test-prep market in 12 of the largest states, Educational Design is rapidly expanding into new states by means of innovative product development, direct mail and an experienced sales force. Founded in 1963, Educational Design is based in New York City.
Recorded Books is the largest publisher of unabridged audiobooks in the world. Founded in 1979, Recorded Books’s award winning audio library contains over 2,500 adult, young adult and children’s books, all recorded by professional performers — often Broadway actors. Sales to consumers through Recordedbooks.com, the company’s web site, have grown at a phenomenal rate throughout 1999. Recorded Books is based in Prince Frederick, Maryland, New York City and London.
Peter Quandt said: “We are delighted to welcome these high growth companies to the Haights Cross family. We will continue our successful tradition of investing in these new companies and their employees. Our future rests on their creativity and hard work.” Mr. Quandt also said: “While these companies will work closely with other Haights Cross businesses, they will remain operationally independent and will stay in their present locations. We anticipate no changes in personnel.”
Mr. Quandt also announced that the company would create two new divisions, Haights Cross Publishing and Educational Publishing. Kevin McAliley, a former president of Channel One Network, joined HCC as President and CEO of Haights Cross Publishing, a new division whose first building blocks will be composed of Recorded Books and Chelsea House. Mr. McAliley will also oversee mergers and acquisitions for Haights Cross, a position he previously held at Primedia. Dan Wasp, President and CEO of Newbridge Educational Publishing, was promoted to President and CEO of Haights Cross Educational Publishing, a group composed of three Haights Cross companies–Educational Design, Newbridge Educational, and Sundance. Mr. Wasp joined Haights Cross from Pearson in 1998, where he headed the Supplemental Education Materials Division.
Mr. Quandt founded Haights Cross in 1996 in association with Great Hill Partners, a Boston venture capital firm. Investors include Caravelle Advisors, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Merchant Banking Partners, Fleet Bank and company management. The investment banks that worked on these transactions include Scott Macon, Whitestone Communications, Berkerey Noyes, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Haights Cross’s mission is to publish outstanding products for educators and professionals — for more information please visit Haightscross.com.