Less than a week after announcing disappointing holiday sales and expectations of a significant loss, U.K.-based Quercus has put itself up for sale. The independent house, best known as the U.K. publisher of Stieg Larsson, has hired Livingstone Partners as its adviser to handle the sale. In a statement, Quercus management said the sale process is "at an early stage" and that there is no guarantee a deal will be concluded. Quercus was founded in May 2004 by former Orion executives Mark Smith and Wayne Davies.
Since publishing Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, Quercus has worked to broaden its list. To that end, it established a U.S. office in early 2013, and published its first local titles last fall. The company said the U.S. group achieved its holiday targets. A company spokesperson said that as the sale process moves forward, it will be business as usual in both the U.K. and U.S.
For the first half of 2013 Quercus posted a 9% increase in sales to 10.2 million pounds, though its operating profit fell to 519,000 pounds, from 557,000 pounds, in the first six months of 2012.