Randall Publishing announces sale to Wachovia, company leaders

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Randall Publishing Co., publisher of CCJ, eTrucker, Overdrive and Truckers News and owner of the Great American Trucking Show, announced Tuesday, Nov. 1 that its controlling shareholders, the family and estate of H. Pettus Randall III, have sold all of their interests to Randall-Reilly Publishing LLC, a new entity formed by F. Mike Reilly, chief executive officer, and Wachovia Capital Partners of Charlotte, N.C.

Terms of the sale and the new equity interests were not disclosed.

“The management of Randall Publishing Co. is excited to begin a new chapter in the company’s history and believes that this partnership with Wachovia Capital Partners will enhance the company’s profitability, security and growth,” Reilly said.

Randall Publishing Co. was founded in 1934 by H. Pettus Randall Jr. His son, H. Pettus Randall III, assumed the leadership of the company in 1976. Reilly joined the company in 1975 and became president in 1984. Under their leadership, the company grew into one of the country’s fastest-growing business-to-business publishing firms.

Upon the death of her husband in 2002, Dr. Cathy J. Randall became chairman of the company, and Reilly became CEO. Each year since, Randall Publishing Co. achieved the highest results in company history.

Of the decision to work with Wachovia Capital Partners, Cathy Randall said: “We are convinced that Wachovia understands the culture of partnership, mutual respect and expectation of high performance that we, as owners, have been proud to create. They also have the expertise and resources to help Mike and his management team, along with Randall’s 400 associates, lead Randall to even greater heights.”

Wachovia has invested in more than 200 businesses since 1988, many of them in publishing, said Sean M. Smith, principal of Wachovia Capital Partners. “We are very excited about the partnership with Randall-Reilly Publishing Co. and look forward to working together with management to support their vision for the next chapter of the company’s growth,” he said.

Under the new company, Mike Reilly will remain as CEO, with David Wright as COO and Shane Elmore as CFO. The company’s headquarters will remain in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and no staffing changes are planned. “It was very important to all of us that the Randall family pass the stewardship of their company to an owner that would sustain in Tuscaloosa the traditions and culture of the company our associates have built,” Reilly said.