December 31, 1999
Union drive defeated convincingly
CALGARY - Transcontinental Printing Calgary remains union-free. The Graphic Communications International Union held a disappointing two-day certification vote last week. Of the 373 workers eligible to vote, about 68% rejected the idea, according to a company spokesman. The CGIU could not be reached for comment.
December 28, 1999
Erik Peladeau moonlights as acquisitive label printer
LAVAL, Que. - Groupe Lelys Inc., a label printer privately owned by Quebecor's Erik Peladeau, has acquired Probel - a self-adhesive labelprinter with sales last year of $4.5 million. Groupe Lelys has clients in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industri es and also prints promotional coupons. Guy Martineau, VP of operations, says the deal boosts annualrevenue to about $14 million. Martineau adds that Groupe Lelys will continue to grow via acquisition and is aiming for sales of $20 million by mid-2001.
December 23, 1999
Bindery house responds to pernicious gossip
TORONTO - The rumor mill has not been kind to bindery giant Cosgrove-Moore Bindery Services. With sales last year of $11.5 million, it's one of thelargest postpress operations in Cana da. Rumor had it that the publicly traded company had gone into receivership following the sudden resignation of CFO Dan Shepherdson in early-October. The rumor, however, is patentlyfalse, says CEO Carey Moore. "Cosgrove-Moore is still in business (much to the chagrin of our competitors) and ready to produce your work," wrote Moore in a broadcast fax to clients two days ago. Yes, Moore told PrintCAN this afternoon, there have been problems with the company's $3 million perfect binder but it is now "up and functioning better than it ever has."
Ex-PM accepts job offer from Quebecor, again
MONTREAL - Quebecor Inc. announced today that former prime minister Brian Mulroney will sit as chairman of the board of Sun Media Corp. Mulroney already sits on the board of Quebecor Printing Inc. and the boards of various other companies, including Barrick Gold Corp., Trizec Hahn and Forbes Global of New York. He replaces Charles Cavell, who will now focus on his main job as president and CEO of Quebecor Printing Inc.
December 20, 1999
Family feud ends in buyout
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Trade Impressions-a trade photocopy shop with annual revenue of about $2 million-is now owned solely by Judith Seed, who bought out her brother, company founder Greg Seed, last week. "I think we just had a disagreement in the way the business ought to be run," Judith told PrintCAN today. "It's very hard to be specific ... It's something I don't particularly want to talk about," she said, adding that her brother had lined up a job at Xerox. Greg Seed could not be reached for comment.
Paper converter reinvests large in Toronto
MONTREAL - Corrugator and container board printer Norampac Inc. has announced that it will spend $40 million to build a highly automated paper-converting/printing plant in the Toronto area. The company's existing plant site, also in Toronto, is cramped for space. The new 400,000-sq.-ft. facility is expected to be operational by next fall. A paper warehouse will be constructed beside the new plant. Norampac is jointly owned by Domtar and Cascades and is "modernizing" operations company-wide.
December 16, 1999
Union activity quickens in cowboy country
CALGARY - It's the swashbuckling capital of Western Canadian business in a province renowned for rawhide, oil and yee-haw neoconservatism. It's also proving to be a hot bed for union drives. First, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers certified Conrad Black's daily Calgary Herald newspaper in October, which promptly tailspun into a strike about to enter its second month. And now, PrintCAN has learned, union activity at Transcontinental Printing Calgary-printer of the weekend National Post-has culminated in a certification vote, to be held next Tuesday and Wednesday. Graphic Communications International Union spokesman Alan Tate said today that he's "fairly optimistic" that a majority of the 373 eligible to vote will decide to unionize. A cert vote earlier this year at Transcontinental's Owen Sound, Ont. plant failed. About 2,300 of Transcontinental's 10,000 workers belong to a union, said a company spokesperson.
Webcom to double plant size
TORONTO - Look for big changes at book printer Webcom Ltd. next year. An ambitious 175,000-sq.-ft expansion to its existing facility is planned, roughly doubling the size of Canada's twenty-second largest printer. In an interview this afternoon, president Warren Wilkins also confirmed that Webcom has bought a new printing system. "We have signed a contract to purchase a digital printing line," he said. The German-built Oc variable printing system, similar to IBM's DocuTech, has in-line binding and will serve Webcom's print-on-demand book publishing division. Wilkins said it'll be up and running by next February. Webcom had revenue last year of $65.5 million.
December 14, 1999
Aggressive Montreal printer emerges from obscurity
STURTEVANT, Wis. - Montreal-based Artech Capital Inc., which didn't even exist two years ago, now claims to be North America's largest printer of children's books. On Nov. 30, subsidiary Artech Printing Inc. acquired a massive printing plant located in this suburb of Milwaukee. The 480,000-sq.-ft. web/sheet-fed/bindery facility was purchased from financially troubled U.S. publisher Golden Books Family Entertainment. The plant, built in 1998, "represents a $29 million [U.S.] investment" said Mark Patenaude, Artech Printing's VP of operations and sales. He says the plant spit out about 175 million books last year. Artech Capital CEO David Watson told PrintCAN yesterday that this is just the beginning. "There is a plan to consolidate a number of printing companies into a global supplier of printing to the [book] publishing industry," he said. "There will be further acquisitions." Winnipeg-born Watson is also owner/CEO of Montreal printing software maker Ultimate Technographic Inc.
Printer charged with provincial offense
BRAMPTON, Ont. - Prism Printing Services owner Klaus Botz has been charged with failing to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. "Apparently the company had reported an injury to one of their workers and, as a result of that, a check was made to determine whether the company was registered with the WSIB, and it wasn't," said Wayne Pushka, assistant director of the WSIB's special investigations branch. Botz faces a maximum fine of $25,000 and/or up to six months in jail. The likely result, however, will be a fine of between $1,000 to $5,000 and no jail time, said Pushka.
December 10, 1999
New $6 million facility for Quebec
NUN’S ISLAND, Que.— Dickson Lithographing, located on this island just offshore from Montreal (revenue last year $7 million) and Montreal-based prepress house Phipps Graphiques ($5.5 million) are moving out of their respective abodes and in with one another. Dickson and Phipps are allied companies owned by principals Gaetano Di Trapani and Jeffrey Mahar. Their new address, currently under construction, will be a 32,000-sq.-ft. plant in the city of LaSalle. Di Trapani, president of Dickson, told PrintCAN yesterday that the move will finally put the two companies where they belong—“under one roof.” The $6 million investment includes to new 40” Mitsubishi presses—a 4-colour and a 5-colour with coater.
Bindery pockets tidy revenue from waste
TORONTO— Cosgrove-Moore Bindery Services Ltd. showed off its new plant this week. At 136,000-sq.-ft., it’s about three times the size of its former address. The building was previously used as a movie studio with several filming suites. Cosgrove-Moore gutted the inside to accommodate its 17 folders, perfect binders and saddlestitchers. One of the facility’s most remarkable aspects is the complex network of vacuum ducts which suck paper waste from every source point in the plant. Selling waste to recyclers generates about $9,000 per month, says sales manager Darryl Robinson.
December 7, 1999
Rival associations sniffing each other
TORONTO— Two groups perceived as representing competing memberships are thinking of merging. Officials from the Ontario Association of Quick Printers and the Canadian Corporate Reprographic Management Association are conducting“extremely co-operative and optimistic” talks with an eye to merging, confirms OAQP Secretary Victoria Gaitskell. The CCRMA represents in-plant quick printers. Gaitskell added, however, that any merger would be“months away” and would proceed on a“trial basis.”
Tardy pressman wins, again
OTTAWA— Sylvain Brunette, a press operator at Montabello Packaging in Hawkesbury, Ont., will get his holiday pay after all, the Ontario Supreme Court has ruled. Brunette, a member of the United Steelworkers of America, was 14 minutes late for work following Thanksgiving day last year. But, according to the collective agreement, an employee must work a full shift before and after a holiday in order to qualify for holiday pay. Therefore, Montabello withheld his holiday pay. An arbitrator ruled last June that working 98% of a 12-hour shift is“sufficient” to constitute a full shift, but the company appealed. Last week the Ontario Supreme Court upheld the ruling. Montabello spokesman Bob Hanes said the company will not appeal the decision.“That’s the end of the road for that one,” he said.
December 3, 1999
You’re not sexy, but we like your stock
TORONTO— The December/January 2000 issue of Toronto’s MoneySense magazine selects Quebecor Printing stock as one of the“Eight Great Stock Picks for the Year 2000.” Business writer Amy Olmstead told PrintCAN this morning that Quebecor’s demonstrated prowess at consolidation in the fragmented printing industry bodes well. She said even though“printing isn’t very sexy compared to the tech stocks,” analysts still predict Quebecor Printing stock could reach $46 next year. That’s a gain of 40% over yesterday’s close of $32.80.
Transcon buys Mexican distributor
MONTREAL— G.T.C. Transcontinental announced yesterday that it has acquired Global Promotion Group—Mexico’s largest flyer distributor with 350 employees and revenue of $5 million. The Global deal complements Transcon’s Mexican prepress studios and its flyer printing plant in Toluca which opened last January.“Our expansion strategy is to adapt the Canadian integrated model (prepress, printing, distribution) to the Mexican reality,” said Roger Belair, president of Impresora Transcontinental de Mexico.