August 25, 2006
Quebecor World removed from TSX 60 Index
TORONTOLast week Standard & Poor, manager of Indexes on the Toronto Stock Exchange, removed Quebecor World from the S&P TSX 60, an index made up primarily of the 60 largest companies in the country by market capitalization. Quebecor World had been, until then, the smallest company on the index. It was replaced by two income funds. Also last week, credit rating agency Moody’s in New York announced plans to review Quebecor World’s debt for a possible downgrade after the company released disappointing second quarter results. And, as reported by the Ottawa Sun, brokerage Merril Lynch slapped a “sell” rating on the printer’s shares. It also added this comment: “We believe a sale of Quebecor World to a competitor would create shareholder value,” adding that shares are likely worth about $20. They are currently trading at between $12 and $13.
Major exhibitors booked at Print World 2006
TORONTOPrint World (formerly Print Ontario) has an impressive line-up of the industry’s major exhibitors. Some of them include Adobe, Agfa, basysPrint, Brandtjen & Kluge, B & R Moll, Buskro, Canon, Epson, GBC, Gandinnovations, Heidelberg, Hewlett-Packard, KBA, Konica Minolta, Longford, Fuji, MAN Roland, Muller Martini, Presstek (AB Dick), Punch Graphix, Van Son, Xerox, Xeikon and more. This year’s show will boast more than 200 exhibitors showcased in 125,000 sq. ft. of space. Print World will take place at the National Trade Centre in downtown Toronto on November 18-20.
For more information or to register to attend visit www.printworldshow.com.
August 23, 2006
Domtar Inc and Weyerhaeuser Fine Paper to merge
Domtar Inc. and Weyerhaeuser Co.’s fine paper business have agreed to merge. The new company, to be called Domtar, will have its head office in Montréal, while its operational headquarters will be in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The US$3.3 billion transaction will more than double Domtar’s current paper production capacity. Raymond Royer, Domtar’s current president and CEO, will lead the new company in the same capacity. Marvin Cooper, a senior VP at Weyerhaeuser, will become chief operating officer for the new company. Under the terms of the deal, Weyerhaeuser’s fine paper business, consisting of 10 primary pulp and paper mills (seven in the U.S. and three in Canada), converting, forming and warehousing facilities and two sawmills will be transferred to the Domtar. Weyerhaeuser shareholders will hold a 55% ownership stake in the company, while Domtar’s current shareholders will own about 45%. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2007. Domtar and Weyerhaeuser will continue to operate separately until the transaction in complete.
August 22, 2006
Solisco closes Toronto plant
TORONTOQuebec-based Imprimerie Solisco Inc. has closed its Toronto web printing plant, three years after purchasing the facility, formerly The Delta Group. (See PrintCan Oct. 10, 2003.) The plant has a coldset web press and heatset web and printed the daily Dose newspaper until CanWest Media folded the print publication earlier this year.
|Solisco is closing its Toronto plant in Scarborough, the former Delta Group facility|
August 17, 2006
Consolidated Graphics buys Annan & Bird
MISSISSAUGAConsolidated Graphics, a commercial printer in Houston, Texas, made a surprise announcement yesterday that it had signed a letter of intent to buy Annan & Bird Lithographers. This is the first Canadian acquisition for Consolidated, which has operations in 26 U.S. states. The transaction is expected to close by December 31. Annan & Bird, specializing in large-format offset printing, was founded in 1987 by Jack Bird and his sons, John and David. Consolidated is a public company listed on the NYSE under the symbol CGX.
Thistle takes over U of T Press
TORONTOThistle Printing has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the offset printing division of the University of Toronto Press. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year. In the meantime, to get ready for the transition of equipment and some of the staff to its location, Thistle is expanding its facility by 18,000 sq. ft., and is ordering new equipment, including Heidelberg presses. The sale is expected to boost Thistle’s sales from about $14 million in 2005 to the $20 million to $25 million range, says Bryan Hockaday, Thistle general manager. Asked about the appeal of the purchase, Hockaday said the two companies have a very good fit, with little overlap of clients. U of T Press also has a broad range of customers outside the university that will benefit from the technological investments Thistle has made over the years. Thistle was founded in 1931, but Hockaday, along with two other partners, took over the company in 1995. Since then it has pursued a growth-by-acquisition strategy, making U of T Press the company’s sixth purchase since 1996.
August 15, 2006
New printing likely in Nova Scotia
PARSSBORO, NSIn a move that bucks recent trends, Headz Gamez Enterprises, a B.C. based producer of sports-themed board games, is in the planning stages of moving its operations from China to this small town of 1,200 souls in northern Nova Scotia, where it plans to build a manufacturing facility that includes a printing plant. The company is looking at a 17-acre industrial park where the facility will likely employ about 1,500 by 2008. The move, according to Ken Marterns, COO of Headz Gamez, was prompted as much by patriotism as by economic and practical sense. “Why not produce our games in Canada,” he says, adding that local production facilities will give the company greater control over quality and more flexibility in shipping. Why Parrsboro? Because it will be cheaper than setting up in B.C. and because company CEO Kerry Martens fell in love with the place when he was in the navy and stationed there 30 years ago.
Financial results tumble in for second quarter
TORONTOSeveral printing companies came out with their numbers for the second quarter of 2006. Most notably Quebecor World reported more hard times with a dip in revenues to $1.45 billion this year from $1.49 billion in 2005. A loss was also registered at Datamark, whose revenues slid 8.3% to $25.5 million in the second quarter from $28.1 million last year. Other companies reported happier news, led by PLM, which says its revenues jumped 14% to $31.5 million from $27.6 million. The Data Group advanced to $53.8 million from $52.4 million and Supremex took in $47.7 million this year, from $46.5 million in the same quarter last year.
August 11, 2006
Data Group acquires Relizon
BRAMPTON, OntWorkflow Management Inc. has sold Relizon Canada, the Boucherville, Quebec-based printing and document outsourcing company it acquired in November of last year. The Data Group Income Fund has agreed to pay $141 million in cash and stock for the 112-year old company. Relizon reported revenue of more than $208 million for the twelve-month period ending June 30. The company has just under 1,000 employees and operates 31 business facilities.
Breakthrough partnership with Chinese print chain
VANCOUVERNewspaperDirect, the Canadian-based international digital print-on-demand newspaper distributor, has signed an agreement with Beijing Founder Easiprint, which for the first time will enable non-Chinese newspapers to be printed in China. Founder Easiprint’s chain of more than 200 print shops will be authorized to print any of NewspaperDirect’s hundreds of print-on-demand newspaper titles, such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and The Globe and Mail. The breakthrough agreement opens up China to foreign media in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As of this month, NewspaperDirect and Founder will provide overseas visitors with same-day hard copies of their local newspapers. The service will target hotels, subscriptions addressed to foreigner apartments and businesses, embassies, and educational institutions. NewspaperDirect has a global network of more than 700 print locations and has established a partner network with more than 80 licensed print partners operating on six continents.
Osprey suffers in Q2, sells phone directories
MARKHAMOsprey Media Fund, publisher of 21 daily newspapers and 37 non-daily newspapers as well as shopping guides, magazines, and specialty publications, suffered a second quarter loss of $87.5 million after huge writedown. The company says it has sold its telephone directory business to Coquitlam, B.C.-based Canadian Phone Directories for an undisclosed price. The business consists of the publication of 27 independent telephone directories under the Helpful Pages and Leader brands in selected markets across Ontario. The sale of the directories as well as the sale of the newspaper Nepean This Week will be applied to reduce the fund’s debt.
August 9, 2006
VistaPrint sales booming, former supplier not so much
WINDSORVistaPrint, an online supplier of custom printed products, reports revenue for the fourth quarter ending June 30 of US$45 million, an increase of 69% compared to last year’s revenue for the same period. Net income for the company’s fourth quarter was US$5.6 million, compared with US$1.9 million from last year. VistaPrint’s fiscal year revenue grew to US$152.1 million from US$90 million in 2005 and the annual net income also rose to US$19.2 million from last year’s net income of US$4.8 million, which was hit by a US$21 million contract buyout payment to its former North America print supplier, Mod-Pac. Losing VistaPrint’s business after the online giant took its printing in-house at its new facility in Windsor hurt the Buffalo plant’s bottom line. In its second quarter of 2006, ModPac lost US$1 million, attributed directly to the loss of the VistaPrint contract, its biggest customer. The company reports that it has since been able to grow its custom folding carton product line quarterly revenue by US$1.2 million with new customers and slightly higher prices resulting from higher material costs.
Quebecor World slips in second quarter
MONTREALQuebcor World’s second quarter revenues were slid down to $1.63 billion, a $226.1 million decrease. It’s Q2 operating income also decreased by $60.4 million to $139.9 million. An increase in Quebecor Media’s revenues only partly offset the printing division’s losses which hurt parent company, Quebecor Inc.’s revenues, which were down to $2.35 billion, a $156.4 million decrease from last year’s second quarter. The company says that Quebecor World will continue to be affected by negative market conditions and retooling inefficiencies for the rest of 2006. Its retooling program involves deploying next-generation technology in fewer but larger facilities.
August 3, 2006
Metroland on track, despite Torstar’s weak second quarter
TORONTOPublishing giant Torstar, which owns several newspapers including the Toronto Star, Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing, workopolis.com, Toronto.co, LiveDeal.ca, and Harlequin Enterprises, experienced a decrease in revenue and net income in the second quarter of 2006.
Revenues fell to $390.3 million, down $12.6 million from $402.9 million in the same period last year. Net income was $25.6 million in the second quarter, down $10.5 million from $36.1 million. The company says the strong Canadian dollar and falling ad revenues both added to the weak second quarter. However, it says that Metroland, Torstar’s largest business, had a positive quarter and is on track for a good year of growing profits. Metroland's revenues were up $7.6 million in the second quarter of 2006 including $5.3 million from acquisitions.
Symcor land multi-million dollar contract with Ceridian
TORONOSymcor, which produces cheques, statements and document management, just landed a five-year deal with Ceridian Canada, a human resources and payroll company to print and distribute Ceridian’s payroll stubs, cheques and reports for the company’s 40,000 customers across Canada.
Ceridian’s decision to outsource its print and distribution will enable the firm to concentrage on expanding its HR and payroll capabilities. Symcor’s CEO, Ed Kilroy, said this contract is an important win for Symcor because it is a significant non-bank commercial business contract in the Canadian market. As part of the agreement, 77 Ceridian employees involved with the in-scope processes will transfer to Symcor at the beginning of September, when the contract takes effect.
Gagliano behind new Toronto arts festival
TORONTOTony Gagliano, executive chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications, is co-founder and co-chair of the new Toronto Festival or Arts, Culture and Creativity to launch next June called Luminato. Gagliano said in a released statement that the festival’s mission is to celebrate Toronto as a creative city and build on the cultural renaissance exemplified by the city’s new arts facilities.
The festival, formed as an initiative of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, will be held at venues around the city for ten days at a cost of $10 million and is hoped to become one of the world’s greatest arts festivals attracting a large local, national and international audience to the city. It will feature artists in theatre, contemporary and classical music, dance, visual arts, film, design, and literature. Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara has pledged $2 million towards the inaugural festival, which will also be supported by corporate and provincial funds. Organizers hope federal funds will also add support. Co-chairing the festival with Gagliano is David Pecault, chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance and senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group.
August 1, 2006
Regal print products to relaunch with online technology
TORONTOThe newly reinstated Regal Gifts Corporation plans to relaunch many of its successful print products such as giftwrap, greeting cards and address labels, and establish their availability to consumers online, according to Greg Neath, the company’s new CEO. Regal, which used to print its own paper products, is producing some greeting cards and Neath says he intends to look for a partner that can provide the company with the printing capabilities and technology to support an online model for the rest of the printed products. An Internet-based ordering system for cards, labels and wrap will fall in line with Regal’s new virtual supply chain model for its entire line of consumer goods. Neath explained that Regal no longer has retail locations, but has re-jigged its operation so that sales reps deal goods out of their own online stores. Regal was brought out of receivership when it was bought by New Jersey-based York Management Services. Neath told PrintCAN that although it was incredibly hard to leave his previous post as president of NEBS, he saw a great opportunity in Regal.
|Paul Kett says:|