News Archives
November 2003

November 28, 2003
Transcontinental makes bid for Optipress
Montreal, QC—Transcontinental announced that it intends to make a takeover bid worth $56 million for seven million outstanding shares of Optipress Inc., a major printer and publisher in Atlantic Canada. The Optipress board of directors has agreed to recommend to shareholders that they accept the offer and will pay $1,000,000 to Transcontinental if the company accepts another bid. The offer is expected to close in late January 2004. Optipress owns 25 weekly and bi-weekly papers as well as nine printing plants and a network of digital reproduction centres in the martime provinces. It has more than 600 employees and annual revenues of $75 million.

Moore Wallace to buy Payment Processing Solutions
Mississauga, ON—Moore Wallace has announced it will acquire Payment Processing Solutions (PPS) for approximately US $92.5 million, which includes the repayment of the company’s outstanding debt. Based in Nashville, TN, PPS is a processor of printed customer statements serving the mortgage lender industry. The transaction is expected to close around the end of the year, at which time PPS will become a wholly owned indirectly held subsidiary of Moore Wallace.

November 25, 2003
Kinko’s gets back on track with world expansion
DALLAS, TX—On the heels of opening up a store in Mexico, its first new international market entry in five years, Kinko’s has announced plans to open up several dozen locations in Canada and Mexico over the next five years. There are 18 Kinko’s locations currently in Canada. The plans are part of a global expansion strategy that will see the company open 10-15 more locations by the end of the year in NAFTA countries, Asia-Pacific and the European Union. In 2004, the company plans to double this rate of expansion.

Publishing industry embraces CTP, but slow on OS X
MISSISSAUGA—The magazine publishing industry has rapidly embraced computer-to-plate production methods, but lags behind in other areas, such as the adoption of the Mac OS X operating system, which recently upgraded to the "Panther" version. These are among the results of a magazine production survey conducted by Masthead, the trade journal of the Canadian magazine industry. Almost 80% of respondents use CTP to produce their magazines, compared to just 16% in 1999. Only 10% of respondents have switched to OS X. However, 48% of respondents said they plan to adopt OS X within the next 12 months, a big increase from two years ago, when 49% said they had no plans to adopt OS X at all. Other notable statistics include the rise of PDF/X-1a as a file format for the digital delivery of advertising materials. The survey results, representing production practices at 268 magazines, appear in the current November/December issue of Masthead.

November 21, 2003
Local Winnipeg shop divvied up
WINNIPEG—Henry Armstrong, a quick printer in Manitoba that once had 15 locations around Winnipeg filed for bankruptcy earlier this fall. Local printer, B W Imaging, purchased at least one location—the St. James industrial location, known as “The Plant.” Mail Boxes Etc. recently acquired four of the remaining locations, including assets and inventory. Three of the four locations are operating under the Henry Armstrong signage; the other is temporarily closed. All four stores will be redesigned and reopened in the new year with the Mail Boxes Etc. decor. Several staff members have been rehired by Mail Boxes Etc. to operate and manage the stores. Four remaining retail Henry Armstrong locations in the city are operating as independent shops; two were bought by another print company and the remaining locations were shut down completely.

AIIM Group nominated for 50 Best
AURORA, Ont.—The AIIM Group has made the top 200 list of finalists for Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies Program. The 10-year-old program, sponsored by Queen’s School of Business, Deloitte & Touche, CIBC Commercial Banking and the National Post, recognizes companies that have successfully faced market challenges to thrive in and dominate their market niches. The AIIM Group has been steadily evolving from a commercial printer to a digital smart factory and has created JIT Demand Print, currently operating as RDM (Ricoh Document Management.) A Deloitte & Touche partner attributed the selection to the commercial printer’s commitment and investment in a strategic repositioning of the company in difficult times. The 50 best managed companies will be announced on February 9, 2004.

November 19, 2003
Communicorp goes private and exits printing industry
TORONTO—Eugene Karadjian has bought Communicorp and taken the company private again, but it is now effectively out of the printing industry. Communicorp’s primary lender called in its loan earlier this month. Karadjian said the company had fallen on hard times and had come to a place where it was no longer growing. Shareholders were unhappy and the lender had lost confidence in the company’s ability to meet its obligations. Communicorp is now focusing on marketing, graphic arts and branding. Trading in Communicorp shares was suspended on October 6 by the TSE.

PLM announces sales growth
MARKHAM, Ont.—Third quarter sales at PLM Group jumped 21.2% to $28.6 million from $23.6 in 2002. Barry Pike, chairman and CEO, attributes the good results to good contributions from newly acquired Optium and Mailer Magic which have brought in business in large format digital printing, offline digital inkjet printing, data management and personalization. He also added that PLM recorded solid growth in its traditional print-based business.

November 14, 2003
Grenville buys Champlain Graphics from CDA
NORTH YORK—Grenville Management and Printing has purchased Champlain Inc. from CDA Industries in Pickering, Ont. CDA, an international design and manufacturing company purchased the 40-year-old Champlain Graphics in early March after it filed for bankruptcy in January. The company will now be merged completely under Grenville’s name. About fifteen staff members have now moved into their new North York location. CDA will be handling the existing receivable and creditors. Champlain’s equipment is presently being liquidated at the Pickering location. Grenville president, Bill Burke says that the company was attracted to Champlain’s reputation as a solid printer with packaging capabilities and has had its eye on Champlain since it fell into financial woes more than six months ago.

Graphics Canada underway
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE, TORONTO—Graphics Canada, the bi-annual, three-day industry show is underway once again. Printers from across the country are in town to test-drive equipment and sit in on seminars and association events. On Thursday morning at a breakfast hosted by the Toronto Printing House Craftsmen, Doug Lord, president of Xerox Canada spoke to early showgoers about the state of the industry and what is driving the business of printing. The show continues today and Saturday until 5 p.m. Saturday’s events include The Ontario Association of Quick Printers’ national conference and a seminar on trade secrets for fast and accurate estimating, led by Graphic Monthly columnist, Bob Dale, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

November 11, 2003
Optipress sales hold steady
DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia—Optipress reports revenue in the third quarter ended September 30 is slightly higher than revenue in the same quarter in 2002. Sales in the quarter increased to $16.942 million from $16.713 million last year. Printing revenue took a slight hit, dropping to $12.6 million from $12.8 million a year ago. The company, however, also reports a net loss of $241,000 compared to a net profit last year of $415,000.

R.R. Donnelley, Moore deal raises questions
CHICAGO—Yesterday morning R.R. Donnelley, one of the largest printers in the U.S., announced it was buying Moore Wallace in a stock transaction worth US$2.8 billion. The deal values Moore Wallace at US $17.66 a share—63% of the value of each R.R. Donnelley share—for a 16% premium based on Friday’s closing. Today, the questions about the deal started. A report on What they think.com, questions whether the two companies can integrate their operations given that their customer bases are so different and require different solutions. Also a story in The Globe and Mail examined the impact of the deal on Quebecor World, but was told by that company that since Moore Wallace is not a direct competitor of the printing giant, executives there don’t see this deal as a threat to worry about. Investors’ reaction yesterday morning was initially exuberant, as Moore Wallace shares gained 7% by mid-morning, but closed the day with a 4.5% gain.

November 7, 2003
Lender calls in loan at Communicorp
TORONTO—Communicorp’s primary lender has demanded payment of indebtedness, according to a press release from late last week. The lender has also issued a “notice of intention to enforce security on all of the undertaking and assets of Communicorp Multimedia.” Calls to Communicorp were not returned. On October 6, the Toronto Stock Exchange suspended trading of the company’s stock.

Webcom receives recycling award
TORONTO—Webcom Ltd. has received a silver award by the Recycling Council of Ontario for demonstrating a commitment to environmental protection by reducing energy requirements, waste materials, and air and water pollution. The award was presented late in October during a special banquet. Webcom was recognized for environment-friendly practices in all areas of its operations, from processes on the shop floor and using paper that conserves old-growth forests, to recycling pop cans in the cafeteria.

Former Moore chief hailed by Business mag
TORONTO—Former Moore chief Robert Burton has earned the number one spot on National Post Business magazine’s CEO Scorecard based on three-year share-price appreciation among Canada’s 200 largest public companies. Burton tops the list for generating a 464.5% three-year return on Moore shares. When Burton took over the ailing company, shares had plummeted to $3.15, but by instituting a severe cost-slashing program and re-focusing the company on its forms-and-labels roots, Burton sent the stock climbing. It closed at $19.99 yesterday. Other notable mentions include Remi Marcoux, who came in at number 22 for generating a three-year return of 122% for Transcontinental shareholders, and Donald Lang, who at number 24 raised the CCL Industries share price by 113.8%. Quebecor, under co-heads Charles Cavell and Jean Neveau, came in at 154 with a share-price loss of 32.9%

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