18 February 2014
Transcontinental to print less of La Presse
MONTREAL—TC Transcontinental receives $31 million in an agreement with the owners of La Presse, giving the French-language newspaper flexibility to reduce its printing according to its needs.

La Presse is published out of Montreal by Gesca, a subsidiary of the Power Corp. Transcontinental signed on as its printer in 2003 in a deal still scheduled to expire in 2018.

"Given the current pace of change in the newspaper industry coupled with La Presse's digital strategy push over the past year, the amended agreement aligns TC Transcontinental and Gesca Ltd. more closely with new realities," said Transcontinental chief executive officer Francois Olivier in a release.

He notes that the greater flexibility in printing volume helps the paper pursue the multi-platform strategy it kickstarted last year with the launch of La Presse+, an advertiser-funded enhanced online edition free on iPads. The digital initiative reportedly cost $40 million and took three years to develop.

Gesca's one-time $31 million dollar payment to Transcontinental will "compensate for price reductions of future services," Olivier said. Before the deal, La Presse had pegged its annual printing costs near $90 million.

Transcontinental, Canada's largest printer with $2.1 billion in annual revenue, remains the paper's exclusive printer and will maintain ownership of the printing plant and equipment.
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