John Briggs, president of Holiday House, announced today that he has sold the independent children’s publishing house to a new company formed by growth equity investment firm Trustbridge Partners. The transaction, which was completed on August 5, allows Briggs to retire and offers ongoing employment for all Holiday House staff.
Going forward, Holiday House will operate autonomously from its current offices in New York City under the leadership of a management team headed by Holiday House v-p and editor-in-chief Mary Cash, who has been with the company for 20 years and has held the top editorial role since 2006. There are plans to soon add a few staff members to support the company’s expanding publishing program, but no other personnel changes are in the works.
Briggs and his wife, Kate, who was Holiday House’s marketing and publicity director until her retirement in 2005, will focus on volunteer work and philanthropy involving children.
Founded in 1935 by Helen Gentry, Holiday House was the first American company to produce only children’s books. Briggs acquired the business in 1965 and has overseen publication of titles by such noted creators as Russell Freedman, Tomie dePaola, Trina Schart Hyman, Ann M. Martin, Eric Kimmel, Leonard Everett Fisher, Gail Gibbons, and Glen Rounds.
In a letter to authors and illustrators, Briggs assured them that they “will receive the same care and attention we have always served to offer.” Briggs went on to note: “This was not an easy decision to make, and certainly not one I ever for a moment looked forward to. Nonetheless, Kate and I couldn’t be more grateful for how meaningful our authors and illustrators have been in our lives.”