News Archives
May 2003
May 30, 2003
Mackenzie museum changes focus
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont.—The Mackenzie Heritage Printery Museum is changing its name and its focus. Chris Vassallo, museum manager, says the newly christened Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum is shifting its attention to newspaper development and printing from commercial printing. The change grew out of an exhibit the museum was planning this summer on newspapers. The Ontario Newspaper Association, originally an exhibit sponsor, approached the museum committee about a longer-term relationship, which included a new name. The museum committee accepted the proposal, but Vassallo says the museum will continue to hold other printing exhibits.

Transcontinental opens P.E.I. plant
BORDEN-CARLTON, P.E.I.—Transcontinental officially opened its new newspaper printing plant in P.E.I. yesterday. The 28,000-sq.-ft. facility will serve primarily to print the National Post for the Maritime provinces, along with the Summerside Journal-Pioneer and The Charlottetown Guardian, two dailies Transcontinental acquired last year. Plans are also underway to increase the commercial printing volume through the plant. Known as Transcontinental Prince Edward Island, the plant represents a $3 million investment and integrates the former Williams and Crue facility acquired in 2002.

May 27, 2003
Hayes Graphic built from Hayes Printing
TORONTO—CDA Industries has formed Hayes Graphic, with employees and customer accounts drawn from Hayes Printing, and is running it as a division of Champlain Graphics. Hayes Printing, a roughly $3-million company in Richmond Hill, Ont. that is believed to have run into financial trouble, still exists as a corporate entity. Joe DiSalvia, president of Hayes Printing is moving to the CDA operation, according to CDA president, Gerry Charbonneau. DiSalvia could not be reached for comment. No offer has been made on Hayes Printing's equipment. CDA, a supplier to the retail sector with $45 million in annual sales and a self-described specialist in regrouping companies and finding efficiencies, plans to increase its presence in the printing industry. It acquired Champlain Graphics earlier this year.

Tapp Technologies buys two flexo printers
VANCOUVER—Tapp Technologies, printer of waterless offset pressure-sensitive labels, recently purchased Adam’s Label & Tag Ltd. of Surrey, B.C. and Apex Label Systems Inc. in Portland, Ore. The purchase allows Tapp to expand into the flexo printing market. Adams, a 35-employee shop with about $5 million in annual sales, produces flexo labels for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and wine markets in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Apex has 15 employees and $3 million in annual sales. The acquisitions will boost Tapp’s annual sales to at least $33 million. According to a company spokesperson, the purchase makes Tapp the only West Coast-based label manufacturer that offers a full range of printing technologies including digital flexo and offset. The company has four locations in Langley and Surrey, B.C., Portland, Ore., and Napa, Calif.

May 23, 2003
Printing industry pilot project for older workers
ANJOU, Que.—A pilot project designed to help older workers keep their jobs or find other employment is being conducted in the printing industry sector in Quebec. The federal government has pitched in $170,756 for the pilot. A sector committee of the graphic arts industry in Quebec will use the printing sector to try out new job retention and integration approaches, conduct a survey to identify the occupations most affected by the aging work force, test training-needs assessment checklists and create a directory of experienced workers that’s accessible online. The federal Older Workers Pilot Projects Initiative was announced in 1999 with $45 million pledged to it.

MDC expects to gain $161 million from Custom Direct
TORONTO—MDC Corp. has announced it expects to receive gross proceeds of almost $162 million for selling an 80% stake of Custom Direct to Custom Direct Income Fund. The money will come from an IPO—which closes on May 29 and is expected to raise gross proceeds of $110 million—and a $58.7 million credit facility that the Income Fund is arranging, $52 million of which will go toward the purchase price. Upon completion of the agreement, MDC will own a 20% subordinated interest in the business, which it has agreed not to sell before the end of the year, and 29.6% of the fund. MDC says the money from the transaction will go toward paying down its debt. Custom Direct is a direct-to-consumer cheque supplier based in Maryland and Arkansas with annual sales of about US$103 million.

May 16, 2003
Versatel buys EPI Graphic Communications
TORONTO—Versatel Printing and Graphic Design announced earlier this week that it had bought EPI Graphic Communications, a sheetfed printer based in Markham, Ont. The acquisition adds 15 employees and $2.5 million in sales to Versatel’s operations. The deal closed some weeks ago and the EPI employees have already moved to Versatel premises. According to John Moustakas, general manager of corporate services at Versatel, EPI is bringing a strong marketing presence to the company as it evolves into a communications solutions provider. Versatel had sales of $7.5 million in 2002.

Printing bankruptcies holding steady
OTTAWA—There were 58 printing bankruptcies in Canada in 2002, according to statistics from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Of those, 46 occurred in the business forms and commercial printing sector and 12 in the platemaking, typesetting and bindery group. The number of companies that went under last year is up only slightly from 2001, when 56 total shutdowns were recorded, but up significantly from 2000, when 46 companies closed their doors. Interestingly, these numbers pale when compared to the recorded bankruptcies of 1999, when 70 printing companies expired.

May 12, 2003
PLM to buy Optium
MARKHAM, Ont.—PLM Group has announced that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase Optium, a prepress and large-format operation in downtown Toronto for about $6 million. The purchase will include the issuance of 1,007,288 PLM common shares at $0.73 per share.The deal is expected to close by June 30, says PLM president Barry Pike. "Large format is one of the offerings we don't yet do at PLM, so [Optium] will round out our offerings," he told PrintCan. Optium, with about $20 million in annual sales, will remain in its current location and, while it will be identified as a PLM company, will continue to operate under its current name. Originally founded as Intercolour Inc. in 1991 and rebranded as Optium Inc. in 1999, Optium specializes in prepress imaging, prepress packaging, digital ad delivery and large-format printing.

Ernie Bardocz takes over at Graphitec America
TORONTO—Ernie Bardocz, former national manager of marketing and sales at Heidelberg Canada, has been named president of Graphitec America, the factory-owned agency of Polly presses manufacturer Graphitec spol s.r.o. in the Czech Republic. The appointment became effective May 1. The company, which employs 15 in North America and has a network of 15 dealers, is based in Jacksonville, Fla. But Bardocz says he plans to work from a Canadian location and commute regularly to Florida.

May 9, 2003
Mississauga company closes doors
MISSISSAUGA—PrintCan has learned that Monogram Decal & Specialty, a 30-year-old silkscreen printer, recently closed its doors and auctioned off its equipment, including an Indigo press. The auction took place earlier this week. Details are still sketchy, but stay tuned to PrintCan for more information.

Chatelaine pops out in stochastic
TORONTO—Check out the May issue of Chatelaine, one of the largest consumer magazine in Canada, on the newsstands. If it looks a little different, it's because the entire issue—at a healthy 268 pages—was printed in stochastic screening, courtesy of Quebecor World's Aurora plant. Chatelaine, with a national circulation of about 700,000, experimented with the technique several months ago when it printed one form in stochastic. Staff liked the results so much, they decided to produce an entire issue with stochastic screening. But the price tag for stochastic, which came in roughly 20% higher than a regular print run due to longer makereadies and greater waste, means there are no plans to use the application on a regular basis.

May 6, 2003
Econoprint creditor proposal approved
ST. CATHARINES, Ont.—Creditors overwhelmingly approved a payment plan that will keep Econoprint in business, says owner Rod Joanisse. The plan, approved on April 28, calls for monthly repayments to begin in May and continue for 26 months. Econoprint was the victim of employee theft that left the shop about $250,000 short. Joanisse, who takes in about $1.5 million in annual sales, says he feels confident that he is on the road to financial recovery and is happy with support he received from the industry.

CPIA posts $22,000 surplus
OTTAWA—In its latest annual report, the CPIA reports a year-end 2002 surplus of $22,620 on revenues of $423,769. This is the seventh consecutive surplus for the CPIA. In other news, the association also reports that after months of negotiations, it has come to an agreement with Association des arts graphiques du Québec (AAGQ) to renew their affiliation. The two associations signalled last fall that they had been having difficulties over several issues, including funding formulas. As a result of the agreement, CPIA will increase its visibility in Quebec and will participate in a membership recruitment campaign particularly focusing on English-speaking print shops in the province.

May 2, 2003
Teldon buys three sheetfed printers
VANCOUVER—Teldon International has purchased three Vancouver-area sheetfed printers to round out its mostly web-press services and position itself as a full-range commercial printer. The newly acquired companies, Clarke Printing, Intermedia Press and Rainbow Press, will relocate to one location and, together with existing Teldon operations, will be renamed Teldonprintmedia. Annual sales after the purchase are expected to grow to $41 million from the current $32 million, on a new staff complement of about 225 full-time employees. Most of the staff from the three acquired companies will begin moving into Teldon's premises next week, with equipment to follow during the next three months, but Darrell Goertzen, director of sales and marketing, says staff requirements will be assessed later for potential duplication.

Moore turns profit corner
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Moore reported lower sales for the first quarter of 2003 but more than double profit figures compared to the first quarter of 2002. Sales totalled US$511 million, down from US$529 million last year, a decline the company attributes to sales declines in the U.S., the Canadian forms and labels business and direct-mail operations. Profit rose to US$29.2 million for the quarter from US$12.5 million last year. The improved bottom line is due to cost savings from prior restructuring activities and overall financial discipline.

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