News Archives
October 1999

October 23, 2001
Bel Graphics and Copico disappear
MISSISSAUGA— Two longstanding Toronto-area printers, Bel Graphics and Copico Inc. have closed their GTA facilities and disconnected their phones, PrintCan has learned. Bel Graphics' Mississauga location has been abandoned, and has a notice posted to its front door from McLean & Kerr, a law firm being retained by Bel's landlord, Industrial Property. The two-page notice lists a number of legal charges that Industrial Property and property manager Bentall Real Estate are pursuing against Bel Graphics and Copico, including a broken lease agreement. Inquiries regarding the status of the charges by PrintCan have not been answered by McLean & Kerr. Stay with PrintCan for updates as more information becomes available.

Canadian Bank Note downplays deal's connection to Sept. 11
OTTAWA— Canadian Bank Note's new contract with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) was being negotiated before Sept. 11, says CBN corporate communications officer Judy Lonsdale, and is not simply a response to growing concerns about security standards at Canadian borders. CBN announced yesterday that it has signed a contract to supply the CCRA with its Falcon travel document reader to help detect fake passports. The reader looks for specific information encoded into authentic documents when they are passed through the device, CBN says. Fake documents are often missing one or more security elements that can be detected by the machine.

October 28, 1999
Prairie printer scoops contracts in three U.S. states
WINNIPEG— Pollard Banknote Ltd., Canada’s 15th largest printer with sales of about $118 million last year, recently signed multi-year contracts to print scratch-and-win tickets for state lottery corporations in California, Texas and Massachusetts. In an interview today, chairman and president Lawrie Pollard also told PrintCAN that the company’s $10 million production facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, became fully operational last month.

Wallpaper printer beefs up with $750,000 press
BRAMPTON, Ont.— Wallcovering manufacturer Norwall Group Inc., which had sales last year of $82.8 million, expects to boost capacity by 20% with the installation of a remanufactured 8-colour Cerutti rotogravure press.“We expect to have it operational by the middle of January [2000],” said Arthur Hampson, VP of finance and treasurer. About 90% of Norwall’s sales are to the U.S., he said. The company has experienced triple-digit net income increases since switching distribution channels from mass merchants (Wall-Mart, Zellers) to contract work for private distributors.“We had skinny margins [before] because the mass merchants were squeezing us,” Hampson said during an interview today.

October 26, 1999
First shaftless press in North America
MERCED, Calif.— Quebecor World (USA) Inc.’s production facility in this city represents the first North American installation of a completely shaftless printing press. The 3-web KBA Compacta 618 employs a series of individual AC servomotors, thus eliminating shaft vibrations. The Compacta 618 will be used to print popular magazines such as TV Guide, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.

October 25, 1999
Quebecor buys Austrian magazine printer
MONTREAL— While Quebecor Printing was orchestrating the $3.9 billion friendly takeover of rival World Color Press in July, the company’s European division was busy inking a deal to acquire Austrian web offset printer Oberndorfer Druckerei. The 86-year-old magazine/catalogue printer has 258 employees and generates about $100 million in revenue. Located in the province of Saltzburg, approximately 66% of sales are to clients in near-by Germany, said Sean Twomey, Quebecor Printing’s VP of business development. Twomey told PrintCAN today that there are plans to boost the operating schedule from five to seven days per week.

October 22, 1999
Asbestos scare at Quebecor facility
TORONTO— PrintCAN has learned that Quebecor’s PE&E plant is being continuously monitored for airborne asbestos particulates. The facility is under renovation to accommodate two new rotogravure presses. Plant manager Wayne Moir said press operations have not been affected.“PE&E was and continues to be in compliance [with air quality regulations],” Moir told PrintCAN yesterday. The union representing press operators is“very satisfied” the air is safe, said Machael Marsbergen of the Graphic Communications International Union. About 50 non-Quebecor trade workers refused to enter the plant on October 6 due to perceived risks in handling asbestos-insulated pipes.

Transcon sells two million destinations to Torstar
TORONTO— GTC Transcontinental Group has sold the bulk of its Ontario distribution network to Torstar Corp. Transcon chief financial officer Daniel Denault told PrintCAN today that Torstar will acquire 80% of Transcon’s Ontario distribution grid—or roughly two million homes and businesses. Denault said the sale will allow Transcon to focus on its Quebec network. Torstar will become Transcon’s distributor of printed matter in Ontario.

October 19, 1999
Presstek lobs legal action at Creo
WILMINGTON, Del.— Presstek is suing rival Creo Products of Burnaby, B.C., for patent infringement, said Presstek’s Efrem Leiber in an interview today. The suit, filed in this city late last month, formalizes Presstek’s public allegations against Creo which had been circulating in the trade press. Both companies manufacture CTP platesetters and are battling for intellectual property rights in a market sector expected to burgeon. Creo filed a suit in August asking the U.S. District Court here to quash Presstek’s allegations. Presstek’s Leiber said the legal feud could be resolved before the year is over.

Intercolour Graphics changes name
TORONTO— Effective October 21, Intercolour Graphics will be known as Optium Inc., said CEO Vito Froio today. Asked if he was afraid the name change might dampen the recognition that Intercolour has achieved, Froio replied:“We spent a year thinking about this name change, trust me.” He added a new millennium calls for a new approach. The company specializes in prepress and large-format printing for advertisers.

October 15,1999
Printer closes sales office
MONTREAL— B.C.H. Forms Inc. owner Ron Palardy has confirmed that he closed the company’s one-man Mississauga sales office last week. In an interview yesterday, Palardy said he was confident that centralizing marketing and sales efforts in Montreal will reduce costs and save time on delivery. He said the company has been servicing Toronto-based clients for 15 years.

October 14, 1999
Transcon nets two U.S. printers
MONTREAL— Transcontinental Printing has acquired direct marketing printers Spectra Graphics of Willow Grove, Pa. and a related division in Newtown, Pa.Combined, the companies serve more than 300 clients and are expected to generate revenue of $59.2 million this year. Transcon’s new direct marketing plant in Dayton, Oh., will open in January.

October 12, 1999
Printer edges out scientist, theologian as millennium’s VIP
NEW YORK— A&E Television Networks’ popular show Biography has named Johannes Gutenberg the most influential person of the millennium. In the eyes of sundry academics and A&E’s own editorial board, Gutenberg’s moveable type has exerted the greatest influence on humanity during the past 1,000 years. The inventor of printing nudged out Sir Isaac Newton and Martin Luther, who finished third.

Encyclopedia to relaunch printed version
TORONTO— The Canadian Encyclopedia, discontinued in 1988 in favour of the less-expensive CD-ROM format, will once again be sold in book form. A 2,640-page English version will be printed by Quebecor and be available mid-November for $65, said George Goodwin, McClelland & Stewart’s vice president of corporate development. A French version is planned for next autumn. The rationale for reviving the print version, said Goodwin, is“50% of Canadian households still don’t have a computer.”

Accountant buys form printing operation
MISSISSAUGA— Trade printer 1st Forms Inc. has a new owner. Former KPMG chartered accountant Raj Joshi purchased the 12-year-old, $5.5-million-a-year operation from 35-year print industry veteran Kelly Robertson. The deal closed in June. Robertson said he’ll stay on for at least five years to manage ownership transition and marketing issues. Joshi said he’ll pursue a consolidation strategy and is looking to acquire similar operations. His father, Dinker, owns Markham, Ont.-based screen printer North American Decal.

October 8, 1999
They've done it: Quebecor Printing is world's biggest printer
MONTREAL— World Color Press stockholders agreed today to merge with Quebecor Printing. Combined, the companies generate annual worldwide revenue of $9.1 billion (US$6.2 billion), leapfrogging both R.R. Donnelley & Sons of Chicago and Japan's Dai Nippon Printing Co. "Today marks the final step in achieving our goal to become the world's largest commericial printer," said Quebecor Printing president and CEO Charles Cavell. World Color will now be known as Quebecor World (USA) Inc. and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Printing. The acquisitive Montreal printing company is expected to change its name next April to Quebecor World Inc. (For background, see PrintCAN's news archive for articles appearing on July 12 and August 20, 1999)

October 7, 1999
Two printers will vie for Eaton's catalogue contract
TORONTO— Discontinued in 1976 as a money pit, Sears Canada says it will revive the iconic Eaton's catalogue. "Yes, our plans are to relaunch the catalogue," said Penny Kitson, Sears Canada’s general manager of public affairs. Kitson told PrintCAN this afternoon that "the company's plan is to use existing [print] suppliers." That means either St. Joseph Printing of Concord, Ont., or Montreal's Quebecor Printing will land the prestigious contract. Kitson said the launch date will be determined by next summer.

Printing franchisor seeks disgruntled brokers
TORONTO— Joe Osiel, a former principal with Print 3 and Printing Network, is promoting a printing franchise concept called Source Imaging. For $12,500, franchisees are given print-broker training and then plugged into a network of participating suppliers. Franchisees can expect to generate $100,000 in annual profit after four to five years in business, Osiel told PrintCAN today. "We're targeting salespeople who are sick and tired of getting 5-7% commission," he said.

Profiting from your digital archive
MEDIA, Pa.— Although it's often difficult to convince a company to fork out thousands on a digital asset management system, Patricia S. Evans says firms do well to treat such an outlay as seed money for an entirely new enterprise. Evans is the editor of The Bulletin: Seybold News & Views on Electronic Publishing ( "Asset management," she writes in her October 5 column, "is no longer just a way to streamline production and save on FedEx charges; companies are turning it into a new profit center." She cites the case of a New York newspaper that digitized its archive of 5 million photos and not only sells them online but has reduced its number of librarians from eight to one.

October 1, 1999
"Mark Twain" to speak at printers' gathering
RENO, Nev.— The International Association of Printing House Craftsmen will hold its 81st annual convention in this city on August 10-15, 2000. Convention co-chairman Bill price told PrintCAN today that he expects about 250 Craftsmen and 100 other guests to attend. Winners of the International Gallery of Superb Printing awards will be announced at the convention. Also, a well-known Mark Twain impersonator is slated to perform. (Twain was a writer for the Territorial Enterprise in near-by Virginia City.) The IAPHC's 2001 convention will be held in Toronto. Contact: 800-466-4274

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