I am excited about beginning this new year as Randall Reilly Publishing, the new parent company of Overdrive.
As we reported last month, the H. Pettus Randall III family and estate sold their interests in Randall Publishing Co. to what is now Randall Reilly Publishing LLC. This is a new entity formed by myself, our management team and Wachovia Capital Partners of Charlotte, N.C.
Randall Publishing was founded in 1934 by H. Pettus Randall Jr. His son and my close friend, H. Pettus Randall III, led the company until his death in 2002, when his wife, Dr. Cathy Randall, assumed the chairmanship of the company and I continued as CEO.
The partnership with Wachovia came from the desire to partner with a company that understands our culture, plans to keep us in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and allows us to expand on our traditions of innovation and entrepreneurship. Wachovia Capital Partners has invested in more than 200 businesses since 1988, many of them in publishing, and we are excited to team with them.
This is a deeply emotional crossroads for me. In 1975, when I was a senior at the University of Alabama, my GI Bill tuition money was running out. I walked into Randall Publishing and began at the bottom rung. Pettus Randall III became my good friend and was like a brother to me. Now, one of the greatest honors of my life is to have my name next to his outside our building.
We look forward to continuing to provide you with the quality products you have come to expect.