News Archives
March 2003
March 28, 2003
Transcontinental opens new direct marketing plant
MONTREAL—Transcontinental Direct, the brand-spanking-new 205,000 sq. ft. direct marketing facility in Warminster, Pa., has officially opened its doors. The latest addition to Transcontinental's printing empire specializes in full-package, high-volume direct marketing work, including prepress, printing, personalization, and postal processing capabilities. Transcontinental's marketing it as one-stop shopping. Also this week, Transcontinental received shareholder approval for the company's name change and its two-for-one stock split announced this past winter.

Former printing exec comes out of retirement
TORONTO—Wayne Newson, former president of Transcontinental Printing, has come out of semi-retirement to head up icefloe Technologies, a new company that manufactures and markets beverage chilling and stabilizing technology. Newson, who headed up Transcontinental until January 2002, said it was intentional when he exited the print industry to get involved with entrepreneurial startups and share the lessons learned over a 32-year career.

March 25, 2003
Quarterly sales improving for most
CANADA—Quarterly sales have begun to trickle in and Transcontinental leads the way with a 10% revenue increase. For the period ended January 31, the company reported sales of $475.3 million, noting its 2002 acquisitions as the major factor for the increase. Sales for Optipress's second quarter of operation, ended December 31, have increased to $19.3 million from $16.7 million. Although Quebecor's numbers are expected to be down significantly for the first quarter, Moore anticipates its earnings to be at least $0.18 per share. It is releasing its results on April 28.

New COO at Quebecor World
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has appointed David S. Boles chief operating officer of its North American operations. He will report to newly appointed CEO Jean Nevue. In a news statement, Boles said his first priority is to clearly explain the company's new operating structure to customers and to build on existing management teams. Boles comes with more han 20 years in the printing industry under his belt, the last seven managing Quebecor World's retail and sunday magazine group.

March 21, 2003
Burton leaves Moore with US$13.3M payout
MISSISSAUGA, Ont., & STAMFORD, Conn.—Moore's retired CEO, Robert Burton, received a substantial payout for his turnaround efforts at the failing business forms maker. According to the company's 2002 preliminary proxy circular, Burton took home around US$13.3 million that year—$942,564 in salary with a $3 million bonus, $8.3 million in "other compensation" and a $990,000 restricted stock award. He also holds 2.4 million shares, remaining one of the largest stockholders. The company says Burton's compensation was well earned for the "extraordinary contribution" he made. During his time at Moore, Burton axed 4,000 employees and slashed expenses and costs drastically. He resigned at the end of last year, two years earlier than expected. In other news, Moore has completed its financing of $1.25 billion for the purchase of Wallace Computer Services.

Econoprint sends proposal to creditors
ST. CATHARINES, Ont.—PrintCAN has learned that Econoprint sent a notice of intention to make a proposal to its creditors this week. According to sources the shop owes about $462,000 to secured and unsecured creditors and has called in Taylor Leibow to act as its trustee. Econoprint has suffered from a bad luck streak, recently falling victim to employee theft that left the shop $250,000 short. Owner Rod Joanisse assured that creditors would be repaid 10% per month until all invoices are paid, adding that it would probably take until November. Econoprint employs 14 and takes in about $1.5 million per year. Further details will be posted on PrintCAN as they become available.

March 18, 2003
Quebecor's CEO resigns, stock plunges
MONTREAL—This has not been a good day for Quebecor World. Trading of its stock was suspended this morning, followed by two bad-news announcements. Michel Desbiens, appointed president and CEO in February, announced his resignation due to "family issues [that] have come to light that make it impossible for me to provide the required level of focus in this role." Jean Nevue, who recently stepped down as chairman, is taking over as interim CEO. A scant minute later, the company announced that net income for the first quarter, ended March 31, is expected to be US$24 to US$29 million, a far cry from the 2001 first quarter net income of US$46 million. The company said its expectations for the first quarter reflect a continuing weakness and decreased price in print market conditions in North America and Europe, increased energy prices higher employee medical and retirement benefits in North America, and the underperformance of its French operations. The investment community did not react well to the news. When trading resumed at 10:30 this morning the stock began diving. By early afternoon it had sunk to $24.30; it closed yesterday at $32.60.

New distributor to sell Komori presses in Canada
MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—K-North Inc., the newly appointed distributor of Komori presses in Ontario and Western Canada, has financial ties to Howard Graphics Equipment, industry sources tell PrintCan. The new company, headed by former MAN Roland sales rep, Steve Ranson, operates out of the same premises as Howard Graphics, a reseller of used and reconditioned printing equipment. Neither Ranson nor reps from Howard Graphics have returned phone calls, but Komori America verified that K-North is a distributor.

March 14, 2003
Hoppy Copy owner sells stake, moves east
HAMILTON, Ont.—David MacLellan has sold his stake in Hoppy Copy Centres, a quick printer with five locations across Southern Ontario. The two remaining partners, Robert Read and Steven Burch, have purchased MacLellan's share of the company. After his 12-year tenure with the company, MacLellan says he felt it was time to move on, so at the end of May, he's heading east to Nova Scotia. MacLellan has also resigned from OAQP's board of directors to which he was elected almost a year ago. The association is currently looking for his replacement. Hoppy Copy Centres have been in operation for 16 years with branches in Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph, Waterloo and Hamilton. Hoppy Copy offers colour and black-and-white digital copy, offset printing and bindery services for retail and trade customers.

CDA looking to buy two to three more shops
PICKERING, Ont.—Now that Champlain Inc., formerly Champlain Graphics, has been brought on board, CDA Industries has told PrintCAN that it intends to buy another two to three shops in the printing industry. CDA's executive vice president, Bill Malisch, said the company wants to expand its service offering to clients, adding that there are cross-pollination possibilities with print-buying customers. CDA is a design and manufacturing company specializing in P.O.P. displays and trade show exhibits. While Malisch could only say that CDA is currently searching for the ideal shop, he did reveal that the target company has annual sales between $5 million and $30 million. With regards to Champlain, a transaction that was officially completed about two weeks ago, Malisch couldn't disclose the purchase price, but said the shop has been restructured to minimize overhead and improve profitability and customer service. Champlain will stay in its existing Pickering location, operating independently of CDA, and owner Alan Simmons will remain an employee of Champlain.

March 11, 2003
A group of students pass counterfeit cash
RICHMOND, B.C.—Just how good are inkjet printers becoming? A number of counterfeit $10 bills are floating around the Richmond community after a group of high-school students produced the fake money using a standard computer and inkjet printer. The phony currency, which the Richmond RCMP says was of poor quality, was passed at a number of high-volume areas, like fast food outlets and variety stores. Their scheme worked so well, the students decided to sell their phony bills—$10 of real money for $30 worth of fake cash. Cpl. P.J. Thiessen, officer in charge of communications and media relations for Richmond RCMP, says an 18-year-old is a suspect for the actual printing of the bills and a group, ranging in age from 12 to 18, were involved as purchasers. According to Statistics Canada, more than 37,000 cases of counterfeiting were reported across Canada in 2001—that rate increased 4% from 2000.

Canadian cheque-use declining
TORONTO—Canadians are favouring electronic payment methods (e-mail money transfers, Interac, etc.) over old-fashioned cheque writing. The current tally of cheque use is 1.3 billion a year—that's down 28% from 1.8 billion in 1990. Not helping is the fact that consumer outlets are refusing cheques—Loblaws became the latest to prohibit cheques, joining the likes of Wal-Mart, Sears, The Bay and Zellers. The grocery chain reported that less than 2% of its customers write cheques, a figure that has slipped 25% from 10 years ago. These figures come on the heels of a $1.1 billion transaction between Symcor, a financial outsourcing service provider, and Scotiabank. The Mississauga, Ont.-based company took over the cheque and bill payment processing, and statement and report printing for the bank under a 13-year contract. Although the number of business-related cheques are holding steady, Symcor noted that the number of consumer cheques are declining 4% to 8% per year.

March 07, 2003
CDA Industries buys Champlain Graphics
PICKERING, Ont.—Sources have confirmed that CDA Industries has acquired Champlain Graphics. CDA, an international design and manufacturing company with its headquarters in Pickering, Ont., has created a new division called Champlain Inc. through the purchase of the 40-year-old printer. One source said Champlain owner, Alan Simmons, will join CDA executives Gerry Charbonneau and Bill Malisch as a management figure. PrintCAN previously reported that Champlain filed for bankruptcy in January. We have learned that the shop owed $7.5 million to secured and unsecured creditors on assets of around $3.7 million. BDO Dunwoody, the official receiver, called in Horwath Orenstein to act as the trustee of the estate. Neither Simmons or Malisch were available for comment by deadline. Stay tuned to PrintCAN for further details.

Transcontinental's sales remain stable
MONTREAL—Transcontinental issued its fiscal 2002 year-end sales, ended October 31. Revenue held stable from the previous year at $1.8 billion. The company completed eight acquisitions in Canada and Mexico during the year, which added $80 million in 2002 and are expected to increase annual sales by $230 million. The company says its purchases helped to offset the negative effect of lower paper prices and a decline in advertising.

March 04, 2003
Maracle buys minority interest in CDIC
OSHAWA, Ont. & MARKHAM, Ont.—Maracle Press in Oshawa, Ont., has purchased a minority interest in Custom Data Imaging Corporation (CDIC), a Markham, Ont.-based printer specializing in high-end variable data printing. The two companies have done work for one another in the past and have flirted with the idea of partnership for about a year. Bruce Fenton, president of Maracle, says variable will play an ever-increasing role in print and this partnership gives the company "an immediate entry in that marketplace." Maracle and CDIC will continue to function independently, but will integrate their services to offer a broader range to their customers. Both companies, which offer completely different services, are looking to benefit from this partnership—Maracle, a shop focused on commercial litho and book manufacturing, will enter the digital realm, and CDIC can incorporate larger runs in the offset field. CDIC president Frank McPherson says, "it certainly compliments us and allows us to be more of a full-service shop to our clients." Maracle was established in 1920 and recorded revenue of about $12 million in 2001, while CDIC emerged in 1999 and now employs 12.

The Graphicshoppe gets back on track
ETOBICOKE, Ont.—Industry sources have confirmed that The Graphicshoppe is on its way to recovery. Late last year, the printer filed for creditor protection and called in trustee Paddon + Yorke to help restructure. The company has continued to operate through this time and sources say, surprisingly, the shop has been quite busy—a large part of its client-base is made up of firms in the financial services industry, a market that hasn't yet recoved from a downturn. Creditors accepted the company's proposal, even though members in the paper merchant community say proposals are rarely accepted as a matter of policy. Sources say the proposal warrants the company to pay 100% and the first payment to creditors is expected late this summer. The company is hoping to pay off its $3 million debt to creditors in about five years.
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