Arcadia Publishing to Acquire Pelican Publishing Company



NEW ORLEANS and CHARLESTON, SC – This morning, Gretna-based Pelican Publishing Company and Arcadia Publishing announced in a press release that Arcadia will acquire the significant majority of Pelican’s assets. The transaction, which was made official in a signed agreement, will close in May.

“We could not be more pleased to have found the right long-term home for Pelican,” said Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton, the president and publisher of Pelican Publishing.

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Founded in 1926, Pelican has a catalog of more than 2,000 titles, including such backlist bestsellers as "Listen, I Say Like This by Chef Leah Chase" and the children’s holiday classic "Cajun Night Before Christmas" illustrated by James Rice. This latter book, now in its 25th printing, is available in many formats and has spawned musicals, plays, cakes, costumes and even a holiday light display.  

Pelican produces 40 to 50 new titles each year, and is presently the largest independent trade book publisher in the South.

Nettleton’s father, a physician, ran the company from 1970 to 2012, the year he passed away. Nettleton will continue on with Pelican after the acquisition by Arcadia is complete.

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“Pelican has been publishing in New Orleans for almost 100 years,” said David Steinberger, the president and chief executive officer of Arcadia, which is based in South Carolina. “It is a publisher that fits well with Arcadia’s mission, which is to connect people with their past, with their communities and with one another.”

Arcadia boasts a catalog of more than 14,000 local titles and publishes 500 new books of local interest and local history each year.   

“We’re excited about this. There is a wonderful confluence of the Arcadia collection and many titles from Pelican, so it is a natural home for our exceptional list of classic local books,” said Antoinette de Alteriis, Pelican Publishing Company’s promotion director. “Books that connect people and place are exactly what Arcadia does best and what Pelican has focused on for almost a hundred years.” 

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