News Archives
June 2004

June 25, 2004
Transcontinental buys Avid media

TORONTO—Publisher and printer
Click to view bigger picture and caption.
Transcontinental has purchased Avid Media Inc, a private Toronto company that publishes four national magazines: Canadian Gardening, Outdoor Canada, Canadian Home Workshop and Canadian Home & Country. Although Transcontinental would not disclose how much the company paid for the deal, Avid has grown over recent years to $16 million in revenue in 2003. About 60 Avid Media employees will move from their current Markham, Ontario, location to Transcontinental’s offices in Toronto. The printing of the magazines, estimated by PrintCAN to be worth about $4 million per year, will be shifted from Quebecor to Transcontinental’s facilities. Earlier this year Transcontinental also acquired Optipress, an East coast community publisher and printer and CC3, a U.S. direct-mail firm. André Préfontaine, president of Transcontinental’s media division says the company will take advantage of any opportunity that arises in either publishing or printing.

OAQP loses its right hand woman
ST. CATHARINES—Victoria Gaitskell, who has helped run the Ontario Association of Quick Printers (OAQP) has announced her resignation and will be leaving the association on July 2 to go to another job in the printing industry. Gaitskell says that she may be able to stay involved with the OAQP as a supplier member pending approval from the board.

June 22, 2004
Brunswick News consolidating print facilities
FREDERICTON, NB—Brunswick News has announced it will consolidate its newspaper printing in Moncton, effective July 19. The consolidation will see the The Daily Gleaner’s printing facilities move from its Fredericton location to Moncton. Brunswick News owns several newspapers, including the The Daily Gleaner currently printed in Fredericton and the Times and Transcript in Moncton. In a note to Daily Gleaner readers, the paper says the consolidation reflects North American industry trends. It also says the move will affect only the pressroom and inserting area. All the other Daily Gleaner departments will continue to operate from the current Fredericton office, which includes advertising, classifieds, circulation, graphics, administration, reception and the newsroom. Daily Gleaner publisher Eric Lawson says "this is simply a business decision that will ensure daily newspapers remain strong in New Brunswick."

June 18, 2004
Past PIA president dies
SEWICKY, PA—Former PIA president, Ray Roper, died June 15 after suffering a fatal heart attack. As president of PIA from 1987 to 2002, he led the association through a period of great growth and expansion including the merger with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, the launch of gain.org website, and the formation of the Digital Printing Council and the E-business council. Roper also established relationships with international printing organizations. He is survived by his wife, their three sons and four grandchildren.

John Kerry writes to Peladeau, cc’s Mulroney
MONTREAL—U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry has written a letter to Quebecor World president and CEO, Pierre Karl Peladeau, asking him to respect workers’ freedom to form a union. Kerry wrote the letter, copied to Quebecor World chairman Brian Mulroney, after speaking with an employee at the Olive Branch, Mississippi, plant. The worker described an environment of fear in the plant fuelled by management seeking to prevent workers from forming a union. Quebecor World has repeatedly denied this allegation and says that workers have always been allowed to form unions. The process by which unions are formed is being hotly argued. Kerry is backing workers who want the company to certify the union in a process called “majority verification.” This involves signing authorization cards and using them as ballots, instead of the election procedure that is currently in place. He is sponsoring legislation that would change the unionization process. Quebecor World says the existing law clearly states the rules for forming a union and the company will not alter its stance.

June 14, 2004
Solisco buys Caractera
SCOTT, QC—Imprimerie Solisco has just announced the acquisition of Caractéra, Print and Neomedia. The buyout is in line with the company’s expansion strategy it started last fall with the acquisition of Toronto-based Delta Group. Caractéra has been in business for over 35 years during which it launched the first-ever websites of the Government of Quebec, Radio-Canada, Société des alcohols du Quebec and Télé-Québec. Its main services include print production, web development and hosting, digital asset management and shipping advertising materials to the media. With the acquisition of Caratéra, Solisco now has over 500 employees in five facilities in Scott, Sainte-Marie de Beauce, Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto and is the biggest independent printer in Eastern Canada.

Transcontinental’s quarterly profit gets a nice boost
MONTREAL—Transcontinental’s second quarter earnings were up 5% to $39.2 million from $37.3 million in the same period last year. Revenue grew 10% to $522 million from $476 million thanks to two major acquisitions in the first quarter: U.S. direct marketing firm CC3 and Optipress, a community newspaper publisher and printer in Atlantic Canada. CC3 added about $31 million in revenues to the company for the quarter, while Optipress added about $22 million. Cost cutting at newspaper plants and a favourable effect of foreign currency translation also contributed to income growth. The company says that it is still courting potential acquisition targets and wants to expand further in both the United States and Canada. Transcontinental has 12,000 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

June 11, 2004
First place finish for Graphic Monthly
TORONTO—Graphic Monthly, PrintCan’s sister print publication, took home a Gold prize (first place) at this week’s Kenneth R. Wilson awards for editorial excellence. The winning article, Heading South, won in the Best How-to writing category and was written by former associate editor Lana Castleman. The Best How-to category includes feature articles that best inform readers on how to do their job better, more efficiently and more productively. The Kenneth R. Wilson awards, now in their 50th year, are administered by the Canadian Business Press, the national association for trade magazines, and recognize outstanding achievement in business journalism. More than 600 submissions poured in from across the country; 11 Gold awards were handed out for writing, and 9 for design and integrated categories.

Canadian magazines pledge to use eco-friendly paper
TORONTO—More than 34 Canadian magazines announced this week that they plan to phase out using paper that contains tree fibre from ancient and endangered forests. The announcement was made by Markets Initiative, an environmental organization dedicated to shifting companies away from ancient forest products, during Mags University, a national magazine conference and trade show. The magazines that pledged to the change include Canadian Geographic, Canadian Homes and Cottages, chickadee, Cottage Life, Harrowsmith Country Life, The Walrus, and This Magazine. At the same event the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association and the B.C. Association of Magazine Publishers, with Markets Initiative, released the Coated Paper Eco Kit to help publishers and printers implement eco-friendly papers and production practices. To download the kit go to ww.oldgrowthfree.com.

June 8, 2004
Annual Gold List released by Graphic Monthly
MISSISSAUGA, ON—The top 100 printers of 2003 have been named in the annual Gold List compiled by PrintCan’s sister publication, Graphic Monthly. The list is an annual ranking of the largest 100 printers in Canada. All in all, 2003 wasn’t a great year for the printing industry—31 Gold List printers suffered losses and aggregate sales for the top 100 totaled $19.48 billion, a decline from 2002’s $20.40 billion and lower than 2001’s total of $19.74 billion. The year also saw several mergers and acquisitions among major players in the industry. Look for the June issue of Graphic Monthly to see this year’s ranking.

Emission reporting in the air
TORONTO—To meet the air quality targets issued by Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Environment is requiring printers to monitor and submit an annual air emissions report if they use more than 3,000 kg of ink a year, which represents 250 kg of ink usage a month. Printers who use more than 3,000 kg of solvent or coating material annually and a nameplate capacity of more than 3 million BTUs per hour are also obligated to report. The emission reports go to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, to determine where contaminants in the air are coming from in an effort to reduce pollution. All reporting facilities are required to report annual and smog season emissions each year by June 1 for the preceding year's data. To learn more about Ontario’s emissions regulation and the reporting process visit www.ene.gov.on.ca/environet/onair/splash.htm

June 4, 2004
Labour spat flares at Quebecor World
MONTREAL—Quebecor World and Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) fired off dueling statements this week regarding workers’ rights at the company. Workers at the Covington, Tenn., and Olive Branch, Miss., facilities filed 15 new charges at the U.S. National Labour Relations Board that included accusing Quebecor World of unlawfully threatening plant closure, disparate treatment of workers who want to form a union, surveilling workers, and promising benefits to workers who do not support the union. Quebecor World denies allegations of unfair labour practices and says that the company does not break any U.S. laws when workers try to organize. It says the allegations are part of an ongoing tactic by union leaders to harass the company and its workforce. Quebecor World says it is one of the most highly unionized companies in the printing industry—approximately one third of its U.S. employees are union members. Last year workers launched the Justice@Quebecor campaign to win an agreement on labour standards including forming a union and engaging in collective bargaining.

June 1, 2004
Canadian Bank Note to go private
OTTAWA—Canadian Bank Note’s CEO Doug Arends, has proposed to purchase all of the company’s outstanding common shares at $3.50 per share. Arends, the principal shareholder, currently indirectly holds approximately 73% of the common shares. Trading of the shares was halted briefly this morning and an hour and a half after trading resumed, they had climbed to $3.48 a share, gaining about 51% from from yesterday’s close of $2.29.
The company’s board of directors has approved the transaction and recommends that shareholders vote in favour of it. Canadian Bank Note’s businesses include lottery systems and printing of driver’s licences, passports, stamps and other documents in dozens of countries. The company recently released its first quarter net earnings, which were $100,000, down from $300,000 in the same period last year. Sales, however, were up by $2.9 million to $30.1 million.

Executive changes at Invesprint
TORONTO—Vince Hockett has stepped down as president and CEO of Invesprint. He will instead become general manager of the company’s facility in Napa, California. Leland Verner, a current director and former chairman and CEO of the company will acting president and CEO on an interim basis, while the board of directors searches for a permanent replacement for Hockett. Also at Invesprint, Jonathan Pollack, of Toronto-based The JMP Group, has joined the board of directors to fill a vacancy after Jonathan Deitcher resigned.

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