October 31, 2006
Seminar to show ins and outs of buying a business
TORONTO—Print World 2006 will be offering a free seminar to attendees called What’s A Print Company Worth? Moderated by Jay Mandarino, president of C J Graphics and architect of eight print-company purchases himself, a panel of three business operators will share their acquisition experiences. They’ll offer advice on increasing the value of a print business, what to avoid when buying or selling, and how to structure a deal. Panelists include John Greenhough, former chairman of Data Business Forms, Jeff Ekstein, president and CEO of The Willow Group, and Dean Froome, vice president of M&T Printing Group. The seminar is scheduled for 2:30 pm on Sunday, November 19. Admission is free, but space is limited. To register, go to www.printworldshow.com.
Pollard riding with Cadillac
WINNIPEG—Lottery vendor and printer Pollard Banknote has been busy at the bargaining table, inking some big-name cross-branding deals in October. After launching a Miami Vice-themed lottery game in September, the company entered an agreement with Cadillac that could put the car manufacturer’s logos on lotto tickets across North America. More recently, Texas Lottery commissioned Pollard to produce a Rocky-themed game, based on the iconic Hollywood boxing series starring Sylvester Stallone. According to its Q2 financial report, instant tickets account for approximately 80% of the company’s revenues. Last year, Pollard reported more than $177 million in revenues.
October 26, 2006
Trader/Transcontinental details emerge
MONTREAL—Ten years and $115 million—those are the dimensions of Transcontinental’s new contract with Trader Corporation, a subsidiary of the Yellow Pages Group. The Yellow Pages Group has been renewing and reorganizing its print contracts recently. This is the company’s third major print announcement in October (see PrintCAN from October 24). The Transcontinental deal is primarily an extension of an existing arrangement for Trader’s East Coast vertical publications. However, $40 million of new print business in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan is also included in the contract, which comes into effect on January 1, 2007.
Print World 2006 lands top-notch speakers
TORONTO—Three of the industry’s most knowledgeable personalities will be giving seminars at this year’s Print World, the largest short-run printing show in North America. Bob Atkinson, a twenty-five-year veteran, consultant and columnist, will host Making Money on Prepress, offering attendees tips on managing files, clients and prepress workflow. David M. Fellman, president of David Fellman & Associates, will run a fast-paced sales seminar called How To Become a Super Sales Person. He’ll target sales managers and reps alike, giving his advice on how to spot a good prospect and expand business with existing clients. Finally, author and management consultant Bob Rosen, of Rosen Associates, will lead The Eight Habits of Highly Successful Graphic Arts CEOs. Rosen has worked as a management consultant for 20 years, working in the graphic industry throughout that time. His seminar will demonstrate what the industry’s top bosses are doing right, and how their examples can lead to better profits in any size shop.
October 24, 2006
Yellow Pages announces big print contracts
MONTREAL—The Yellow Pages Group made a pair of announcements late last week, re-establishing agreements with two of Canada’s major print companies. Quebecor World became the exclusive printer of the company’s 300 national phone directory titles, a job it used to share with Transcontinental. A new $1 billion deal will see Quebecor World become the sole supplier until 2020 once Transcontinental’s contract expires in December 2007. Meanwhile, St. Joseph Print struck a deal with Yellow Pages subsidiary Trade Corporation. It’s a 10-year commitment to produce a number of Trader’s magazines, including Renters News, New Homes & Condos, Auto Trader and Resale Homes.
Lottery printer sold
OTTAWA—Canadian Bank Note, which last month sold its financial printing division, has further streamlined its operations by selling lottery printer Creative Games International to GTech Printing in Rhode Island. Creative Games, which employs 55 people in Plant City, Fla., produces 3 billion instant lottery tickets annually for distribution across North America and the Caribbean. Canada Bank Note’s director of corporate communications, Judy Valz, had previously said the company intends to focus on its identification and shareholder system businesses. The acquisition is expected to close in late November.
October 19, 2006
Canadian inducted into printing hall of fame
CHICAGO—Transcontinental’s Remi Marcoux was one of four industry leaders inducted into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame at Graph Expo this week. Marcoux, the company’s executive chairman of the board, joins Quebecor’s Pierre Péladeau as only the second Canadian to be inducted. At a ceremony on Monday, Marcoux was honoured alongside fellow inductees James Hopkins of Hopkins Printing in Columbus, OH., Thomas Quadracci of Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics, and Jesse Williamson of Williamson Printing in Dallas, TX.
Embassy acquires Canada Yearbook
WINNIPEG—Photo book specialists Embassy Digital, a division of Embassy Graphics, has bought Bowmanville, Ont.-based Canada Yearbook Services. Bryan Payne Jr., Embassy’s president, says Canada Yearbook was an ideal acquisition. Yearbooks require similar printing technology to photo books, but have their high season when Embassy’s presses tend to be quieter. Payne says he plans to grow Canada Yearbook’s business in Canada and the U.S. by adding sales people to the existing work force, and wants to double the business within three years. Canada Yearbook was a family-owned company. Its president, Diane Bradley, will stay with the company to oversee yearbook sales and production when operations move westward to Embassy’s Oakville, Ont. facility.
October 17, 2006
Gould Paper to buy Cascades Resources’ western operation
VANCOUVER—The sundering of Cascade Resources now seems complete. It was acquired in March 2006 by an Australian company called PaperlinX. In accordance with a request from the Canadian Competition Bureau, Cascades’ western merchant operation was separated from the eastern arm and put up for sale. When the deal with New York-based Gould is finalized on Oct. 29, Gould will take control of Cascades’ facilities in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, and PaperlinX will be set to fully acquire the remaining Cascades operations, now called Spicers Canada. The Spicers deal is pending the approval of the competition bureau.
MIA: Big Bay Graphics
MARKHAM, Ont.—The doors are shut and the phones are ringing unanswered at Big Bay Graphics. Other Markham-area print shops have confirmed the shop closed its doors on Oct. 11 and never reopened them. No one from Big Bay could be reached for comment.
In a story entitled “Postal rate change may affect printers” published Oct. 10, PrintCAN reported “Canada Post is changing its postal rates for the lettermail category.” In fact, it is the incentive lettermail category that is being changed. PrintCAN regrets the error. The original story has been edited to reflect this clarification.
October 12, 2006
BCPIA looks at reforming apprenticeship training
SURREY, B.C.—The British Columbia Printing and Imaging Association is conducting research to see whether BC printers are interested in reforming apprenticeships in the province. A three-question survey, distributed yesterday via e-mail, may be the first step towards a more universal system of training and certification. Some shops organize their own apprentice training, and the province’s Industrial Training Authority also offers programs for printers. However, some of the ITA courses, such as the stripping course, are “out of date” in the modern industry according to Marilynn Knoch, executive director of the BCPIA. If the survey generates enough interest, Knoch says the association may strike a task force to examine the issue further.
Small businesses hopeful for 2007
TORONTO, Ont.—Optimism about the economy is growing among small business owners according to a new Scotiabank survey. Across Canada, 28% of owners surveyed responded by saying they thought economic conditions will improve in the coming year, and 49% said it would remain the same (up from 33% in 2005). Fewer owners said they expect conditions to deteriorate—23% in 2006, compared to 45% in 2005. Generally, predictions were more optimistic in the west than they were in the east. British Columbia registered the most upbeat predictions, with 38% looking for an economic upswing and only 10% expecting a downturn. Atlantic Canada on the other hand had the most unimpressed view of the future, with 31% of respondents predicting economic decline and only 22% predicting better things in 2007. The survey defined small businesses as those with incomes of $5 million or less.
October 10, 2006
BC printer nominated for entrepreneur award
SURREY, B.C.—Susan Thomas, co-founder of Printfastic Printing, was recently nominated for Ernst & Young’s Annual Entrepreneur of the Year award. The global accounting firm gives the award to business leaders “who show vision, tenacity and community involvement.” Thomas tutors students in the print business through high school and college work-placement programs. She has run Printfastic for 27 years with her husband Glynn. Sadly, Thomas did not end up winning in her Pacific region category, but was grateful for the nomination and pleased at the attention her business received as a result.
Postal rate change may affect printers
OTTAWA—Starting January 15, 2007, Canada Post is changing its postal rates for the incentive lettermail category. Whereas the current system uses a single rate for letters weighing less than 50 grams, the new system will divide that weight bracket in two—0-30g and 31-50g—and raise postage for the upper bracket. Given that much of the mail in this category is corporate and utility billing—which often comes with additional printed material such as flyers and charity pamphlets—companies may be looking to get their envelopes into the lower weight class to avoid the rate hike. There is already movement around the issue. Members of the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU), which lobbies on behalf of large-scale mailers, are being asked to review the rate change and submit feedback to the organization.
October 5, 2006
Grafikom gets Grenville
TORONTO—Grenville Printing, founded by the Burke family in the early ‘70s, has been acquired by Grafikom, a Toronto-based sheet fed operation that also has facilities in Alberta, Quebec, California and Mexico. In a deal that closed on October 4, Grenville became Grafikom Grenville Ltd., with Grenville’s president Bill Burke remaining at the helm of the new division. The deal came about after years of conversation between Burke and Grafikom president Aivars Beikmanis. “Frankly, there’s no one I respect more in the industry than Aivars,” Burke says, adding it makes good business sense to merge the companies so they can both benefit from an expanded operation and resource base. According to Graphic Monthly Canada magazine, Grafikom had $106 million in sales in 2005. Grenville reported $21.7 million in sales.
David Friesen named GM Printer of the Year
ALTONA, Alta—It was Friesens Corporation’s sense of community and social responsibility that earned its CEO, David Friesen, the title Printer of the Year in the October issue of Graphic Monthly Canada magazine. Friesen comes from a long line of community-minded printers. His grandfather started in the print business while running a confectionary store, post office and bookstore in the small town of Altona. David’s father took over the printing business, and helped create a radio station and an oil-processing plant. Friesens now prints such million-selling books as the Harry Potter series and Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. The Printer of the Year issue of Graphic Monthly is now available.
October 3, 2006
Quebecor World’s credit rating cut
It’s been a rough year for North America’s second largest printing company. Facing labour troubles, plant closures and the declining value of its stock price, Quebecor World now has had its credit rating cut. Standard and Poor dropped the company to a “B-plus” rating, down from “BB-minus.” Both ratings are considered to be below investment grade. Reuters has reported that another cut may be forthcoming.
Nova Scotia paper mill to restart operations
After a 10-month shutdown, Stora Enso’s Point Tupper paper mill near Port Hawkesbury, NS, is set to restart operations. The facility’s future was in question after a labour dispute closed the mill to 560 workers in December 2005, and adjustments to electricity rates affected profitability. With a new labour agreement that will reduce wages by 10%, and a negotiated buying scheme for electricity, Stora Enso says it will “carry out a phased-in approach” to get its super-calendered and newsprint paper machines rolling. The two machines produce 550,000 tonnes of paper annually.