News Archives
July 2002
July 30, 2002
Optipress shares dip following IPO
DARTMOUTH, NS—Canada's newest printing company, Optipress, completed its IPO of 7 million common shares at $8.50 each on Thursday. Optipress is now listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol OPP and its shares are publicly traded. At close of trading last night, the share price had droped to $8.35 and no shares of the company were traded yesterday. In accordance to the terms of the underwriting agreement, Newfoundland Capital Corp. purchased 1.41 million shares of the company and Cameron puchased 588,200. Optipress will now purchase the printing and publishing assets of NCC and Cameron Publishing.

Sales down slightly for Quebecor
MONTREAL—The largest printer in the land is reporting sales for the second quarter that are only slightly below the results from one year ago. Quebecor World announced yesterday that sales for the quarter ended June 30, were US $1.47 billion, just a smidge below the US $1.50 billion from the same time in 2001. Revenues for the first six months of the year are down 5% compared to a year ago. Downward pressure on sales continued to come from lower demand for print advertising and promotion and price pressure due to excess capacity. Net income for the quarter was up 4%, a sign that its restructuring efforts are paying off, the company says.

July 26, 2002
MM&T buys Ashton Potter
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—McLaren, Morris & Todd (MM&T) bought MDC's Ashton Potter folding carton operation in Mississauga earlier in July. MM&T is a subsidiary of U.S.-based Mail-Well Inc. The acquisition has been renamed MM&T Packaging and is currently headed by Al George who said the purchase rounds out the services the company can offer and completes the value-added offerings to customers. Plans are to run the plant independently of MM&T and the deal does not include Ashton-Potter's stamp-printing operation in Williamsville, N.Y. Gord Griffiths, president of the Mail-Well print group, said the company has no immediate plans for more acquisitions here but said that "the Canadian marketplace is always of interest to us." This is the second high-profile divestiture for MDC, which earlier this year sold its cheque-printing division, Davis + Henderson. The company, which did not return phone calls, now has only two operations left in Canada, Metaca card printer in Ont., and Mercury Graphics ticket printer in Sask.

Sales down, profit up at Moore
STAMFORD, Conn.—Moore Corporation reported reduced sales for the second quarter ended June 30, but higher net earnings. Sales came in at US$499.9 million, down from US$532.5 million recorded in the second quarter last year. According to the company, the revenue decline was the result of some fourth quarter divestitures, including Phoenix and some Forms and Labels business. Net earnings for the period totalled US$15.2 million which compares favourably to last year's loss of US$60.4 million after restructuring and other non-recurring charges.

Ernie Bardocz leaves Heidelberg
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—PrintCan has learned that Ernie Bardocz, long-time employee of Heidelberg Canada, has resigned from the company to pursue other interests. He left the company on July 15, after 18 years in various sales and marketing positions.

July 23, 2002
Ryerson graphics centre nearing completion
TORONTO—Ryerson's Centre for Graphic Communications Management (GCM) is in its final stages of construction. Mary Black, chair of the school of GCM, says "It's coming along extremely well and on schedule. We expect to be in it by September." She says some exterior masonry work still needs to be done and cosmetic interior painting and decorating will take place over the rest of the summer. The $10 million, 30,000 sq. ft. complex will house more than 350 GCM students in the fall. PrintCan has also learned that a grand opening ceremony will take place in October. Although no plans have been finalized and a date has not been announced, Black says she wants the industry to be involved.

July 19, 2002
Transcontinental prints 300,000 gospels for World Youth Day
LOUISEVILLE, Que.—Despite a tight schedule of about two weeks, Imprimerie Gagné, a division of Transcontinental, managed to crank out 300,000 Gospels of Matthew for the 17th World Youth Day being held in Toronto next week. Printed on one of the company's web presses, the pocket-sized book measures 3.5" x 5" and contains four languages. A similar project would normally take five or six months. According to Denis Audet, general manager at Imprimerie Gagné, the run was actually cut by more than half from one million copies. "We were planning to split the job with Best Book in Peterborough because we have the same types of presses and services, but the run came down." Nelly Safari, production manager at The Canadian Bible Society, says "there were a lot of glitches along the way, but for a project of this magnitude, it was expected." A major problem was matching the colours of the cover image to an oil painting depicting St. Matthew and The Angel. Safari says proofs were sent back and forth several times.

July 16, 2002
Optipress goes forward with IPO
DARTMOUTH, NS—Optipress has received regulatory approval to go ahead with its IPO. The offering consists of 7 million common shares at $8.50 each. The offering is expected to be completed by July 25 and net proceeds will be used to buy the publishing and printing assets of Cameron Publications and Newfoundland Capital Corp. Contrary to a previous announcement that NCC would not own any shares of the new entity, the underwriting agreements states that it has agreed to purchase 1.41 million shares of Optipress if requested by the underwriters. According to a press release, Optipress also intends to consolidate existing printing operations in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England.

Hemlock president a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year award
BURNABY, BC—Dick Kouwenhoven, president of Hemlock Printers, is in the running for Ernst & Young's 2002 Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year award. He is a finalist in the manufacturing division and joins a list of 17 other nominees in six categories from the West Coast. A winner will be named in each category and the six will vie for the Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year award. The winner of the Pacific competition will be considered for the national Entrepreneur of the Year award. "It's an incredible honour," Kouwenhoven says. "Not only will this be good for myself, but it also reflects well on the company." Hemlock was established in 1968 and specializes in fine art books and multi-colour annual reports. Hemlock was also recently included in the top 100 private companies in B.C. by Business in Vancouver newspaper, coming in at number 92. Last year the company achieved annual sales of of $35.5 million.

July 12, 2002
Transcontinental purchase includes two printing plants
MONTREAL—Two web printing plants, Ad Venture in Saskatoon, and Williams & Crue in Summerside, P.E.I., changed hands when GTC Transcontinental bought a group of 12 community newspapers and related publications from CanWest Global Communications on Wednesday. The deal is expected to generate $100 million in annual revenue; printing will account for about $10 million of that, says Luc Desjardins, president of Transcontinental Printing. All the newspapers acquired are already being printed at the Saskatoon and Summerside locations or have in-house printing facilities, so there will be no moving of printing contracts to Transcontinental plants. As a result of the Williams & Crue purchase, Transcontinental also takes over printing of the National Post in the East Coast. It is now the printer of both national newspapers in the region.

Tyrell Press files proposal to creditors
GLOUCESTER, ON—PrintCan has learned that commercial printer Tyrell Press has run into financial turbulence. The Gloucester, Ont., company has filed a notice of intention to make a proposal to its creditors. It is expected that it will develop a debt repayment plan within the next 30 days. When contacted, the company confirmed its bankruptcy status but had no further comment. D&A MacLeod Co. Ltd. is the company's trustee but was not available for comment at this time. Tyrell Press has been in business for more than 40 years. Stay tuned for more details.

July 09, 2002
Former Arthurs-Jones partner moves to Peel Graphics
BRAMPTON, Ont.—Casper Stabile is on the move again. He has recently moved to a sales position at Peel Graphics in Brampton. Stabile was one of three partners at Arthurs-Jones Clarke, until it declared bankruptcy last summer. He then moved on to a sales position with Spinnaker Graphics in Mississauga, which PrintCan has learned he left about a month ago. Spinnaker would not comment on his departure and Stabile was not available for comment at this time.

July 05, 2002
Schawk acquires Mississauga prepress company
TORONTO—After months of industry rumblings, it has been confirmed that Schawk Canada has purchased Imaginex, adding to the number of its existing Toronto locations. Bob Cockerill, president of Schawk Canada, says the acquisition was a natural choice for the prepress company that specializes in flexography. "It (Imaginex) is strong in flexo and flexo platemaking, so it was a keen interest to us," he says. Similar to other Canadian Schawk locations, Cockerill says Imaginex will probably be renamed Schawk Mississauga. Although he couldn't disclose the sale amount, Imaginex reported revenue of $16.5 million in 2001.

Imaging Excellence completes printing rights case
TORONTO—After six years of court hearings and appeals, the case between Imaging Excellence and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) is finally complete. In late June, a three-judge panel of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that work proselytizing or promoting the gay and lesbian lifestyle would conflict with owner Scott Brockie's freedom of conscience and faith and would be within his rights to refuse. Brockie says he is still obligated to pay the $5,000 penalty. And although Brockie admits it is only a partial victory, he says "there is now some protection to refuse some jobs that offend your core beliefs." It all began back in April of 1996. Brockie, a Born Again Christian, refused to print the CLGA's letterhead and brochures saying he objected to their views on acceptable sexual practices. "The thing kind of took on a life of its own," he says of the case. He says both parties have accepted the decision and no further appeals will be made. Meanwhile, Imaging Excellence is still undergoing a financial restructuring plan after appointing trustees in April. A proposal was sent to creditors that Brockie says was almost unanimously accepted. "It's nice to see this stuff behind us so we can carry on with what really counts and that's running the business."

July 02, 2002
Printer loses contract to Internet
AURORA, Ont.—Ricoh Document Management, a subsidiary of Ricoh that provides document and print services, has lost a print contract after 11 years of printing. The Toronto Stock Exchange's Daily Record, a 40-page summary of stock market information, has been moved to cyberspace and will be delivered via email. Alan Wheeler, vice president and general manager of the Aurora printer, says it was a relatively small contract and is not worried about losing further work to the Internet. "People don't read things in any volume off the screen so, ultimately, it is going to be printed somewhere," he says. Steve Kee, director of media relations of the TSX Group, says speed was the deciding factor for the change. A printed copy could take up to two days to reach a subscriber.

Quebecor World dismantles Reader's Digest press
MONTREAL—After 27 years of printing Reader's Digest on a Baker Perkins G-12 press, which the publication owned, Quebecor World has dismantled the old press and is printing the magazine on its own web offset machines. "It started to cost us major money in repairs and the quality was slipping to a point where we didn't want it to go any further," says Linda Melrose, production manager at Reader's Digest. Quebecor World has printed the magazine on presses owned by Reader's Digest Magazines Ltd. (first a Goss then the Baker press) since the company set up shop in Canada in 1947. However, the publication has no plans to purchase another machine for printing. "The presses now are so fast, we couldn't use all the hours," Melrose says.
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