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THP Greeting CardsFood-assistance programs across Canada will receive 100 percent of the net proceeds from The Printing House’s Seasonal Greeting Card campaign, which last year raised more than $70,000.

For more than 15 years, The Printing House (TPH) has produced seasonal greeting cards in support of various registered Canadian charities. Because the entire production of the greeting cards is donated, including artwork, stock and printing, TPH is able to give 100 percent of the selling price to the chosen charities.  The cards, starting at $1.35 each, can be imprinted with standard greetings, blank or customized with a personal message.

This year, the Toronto-based company has chosen to fight hunger and will donate the proceeds to food programs – run by organizations like the Amethyst Women's Addiction Centre, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, HomeBridge Youth Society and the Daily Bread Food Bank – in Canadian cities that hold TPH operations. The company, which donated $70,742.12 to the selected 2008 charities, has 70 locations across Canada.

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The United Steelworkers (USW) joined with NewPage Corp., Appleton Coated LLC and Sappi Fine Paper North America in filing trade petitions, for antidumping and anti-subsidy duties, against Chinese and Indonesian imports of certain types of coated paper.

USW, which represents about 6,000 production workers at paper mills operated by the previously mentioned three companies (in nine American states), claims the unfair trade practices carried out by paper producers in China and Indonesia  “have eliminated thousands of domestic jobs." Over 130,000 workers are represented by the USW in the paper and forestry products industry. The union claims to have measured a loss of more than 60,000 jobs across this sector since 2002.

The new petitions focus on job cuts over the past five years. According a USW statement, “The petitions estimate an increase of 40 percent from total imports of coated paper have flooded into the U.S. market – jumping from 131,687 tonnes in the first six months of 2008 to 185,422 tonnes in the first six months of 2009.  Imports from the two countries [China and Indonesia] together account for nearly 30 percent of the domestic market.”

The petitions were filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, DC.

Eastman Kodak Company hopes to raise upwards of US$700 million in funds, including an estimated US$400-million commitment from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) based on the planned purchase of Senior Secured Notes that are to fall due in 2017.
 If the transaction is completed, scheduled for around September 30, Kodak's board of directors will appoint two individuals designated by KKR to the board.


In addition, Kodak agreed to issue to KKR warrants to purchase up to 53-million shares of Kodak common stock, which means Kodak could ultimately vary the amount of Senior Secured Notes purchased by KRR. Under the terms of the agreement, KKR is required to hold the warrants and shares for a minimum of two years. 

"KKR has a long, successful record of working with, and investing in, companies with significant value-creation potential,” stated Antonio Perez, Kodak's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release about the arrangement. “We look forward to working with the KKR team to accelerate the growth of our portfolio of high-margin annuity businesses."

Kodak also announced it will readjust the release of its upcoming third-quarter results, as it “estimates total segment losses from continuing operations before interest expense, other income (charges), net, and income taxes will be between US$50 million to US$60 million.”


Cenveo Inc., led by Chairman and CEO Robert Burton out of Stanford, CT, today completed its previously announced acquisition of New Hampshire-based Nashua Corporation, which focuses on the development of materials for the label and specialty-paper markets.

Together, the new company is said to be one of the United States’ largest manufacturers of pharmaceutical, scale and shelf labels, while the new assets also allow Cenveo to enter deeper into point-of-sale and wide-format printing markets.



Under the terms of acquisition, each share of common stock of Nashua will be converted into (i) $0.75 per share in cash and (ii) 1.265 shares of Cenveo common stock.


As it continues to operate under bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S., papermaker AbitibiBowater released further details about its restructuring plans, which includes the indefinite suspension of production at three Canadian mills, while another three Canadian operations will see paper-machine shutdowns. Another AbitibiBowater U.S.-based mill also faces an indefinite paper-machine shutdown.

According to a report from The Canadian Press (CP) news agency, the Montreal-based company estimates the closures, set to begin October 31, 2009, will affect 1,500 Canadians jobs. CP quotes the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which operates within the mills, stating that these cuts represent "disasters of historical proportions for communities that have been a mainstay of the Canadian forest industry."

The shutdowns include operations at a digital printing paper plant in Beaupre, Quebec, as well as plants in Clermont (Quebec) Fort Frances (Ontario), and Brooklyn (Nova Scotia). At the start of September, the Montreal-based company announced the sale of approximately 121,000 hectares of private timberlands in Quebec for $53 million in cash.


New York-based On Demand Books LLC, which makes the Espresso Book Machine, announces an agreement with Google to access over 2-million public-domain titles in the Google digital files repository. This adds to the preexisting 1.6-million titles available to consumers via the Espresso Book Machine (EBM).


EMB locations in Canada include the University of Alberta bookstore, McMaster University bookstore, McGill’s McLennan Library, University of Waterloo bookstore, while machines are scheduled for placement with Books Inn Inc. of Miramchi, NB, and Oscar’s Art Bookstore in Vancouver.

According to the U.K.’s Telegram newspaper: “On-demand prints will cost around $8, with Google taking and On Demand taking $1 each, the retailer earning $3, and the remaining revenue going toward covering the costs of materials and labour.”

Ampersand CIPPIGuelph-based Ampersand Printing, using press technology from Mitsubishi, Kodak Prinergy and Hiflex MIS software, and cutting equipment from Heidelberg, won first place in the annual CIPPI awards, which celebrate world-class JDF integration.

Ampersand received its recognition, officially presented under the Jürgen Schönhut Memorial CIP4 International Print Production Innovation (CIPPI) Awards, in the category of Best Process Automation Implementation, North America. CIP4 names its winners based on the most-compelling case-study submission across three topical categories and four regions.

Under the leadership of Damian and Mike McDonald, Ampersand has won a CIPPI award for the past four years: Automating prepress and MIS in 2006; extending JDF automation to postpress in 2007; and extending JDF automation to press operations in 2008. In May 2008, the 17-employee printing company installed a new 40-inch, 6-colour Mitsubishi DIAMOND press.

Key results from Ampersand’s current win include a 34-minute, average time reduction in “first-signature preparation”– to 16 minutes from 50 minutes. The company also reduced its “following signatures” prep from 30 minutes to eight, while it also cut an average of 400 sheets of waste per reprint signature.


The full list of winners, as decided by a panel of five international judges, includes:

Best cost/benefit realization and improvement in efficiency as a result of process automation implementation
First Place: Druckerei Bauer GmbH of Pfedelbach, Germany
Second Place: Sirivatana Interprint Public Company Limited, of Bankok, Thialand

Biggest improvement in quality production & customer responsiveness as a result of process automation
First Place: C. Maurer Druck und Verlag GmbH of Geislingen/Steige, Germany  
Second Place: Druckerei Bauer GmbH of Pfedelbach, Germany

Most innovative use of process automation technology in an implementation
Shinkosha Printing Company of Tokyo, Japan

Small Business Process Automation Implementation of the Year
5Sept Etiquette of Courthézon, France

Best Process Automation Implementation, Asia/Pacific
Shinkosha Printing Company of Tokyo, Japan

Best Process Automation Implementation, Europe
Cloître Imprimeurs of Saint-Thonan, France

Best Process Automation Implementation, North America
Ampersand Printing of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Best Process Automation Implementation, Emerging Markets
Emirates Printing Press of Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Increasing its interests in online-based advertising, Adobe Systems Inc. signed an agreement to purchase an analytics company, called Omniture Inc., for US$1.8 billion. The systems of Omniture track the performance of Websites and online advertising campaigns.

Adobe agreed to pay $21.50 a share for Omniture, which Bloomberg news reports to be 24 percent more than the closing price yesterday. A company statement explains, “Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture furthers its mission to revolutionize the way the world engages with ideas and information.”

In addition to its online measurement systems, Omniture also focuses on strategies and technologies to optimize the backend efficiency of Web-based communications.

Adobe also announced its third quarter financial results which saw the company's profit fall 29 percent.  In the third quarter of fiscal 2009, Adobe achieved revenue of $697.5 million, compared to $887.3 million reported for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 and $704.7 million reported in the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

 


WadesBaumfolder Corp., at PRINT 09, introduced its new BaumPrint 18 printing press and announced its first Canadian distributor will be Cambridge, Ontario-based Wades Bindery Repair Service Ltd.

In April 2009, Baumfolder began building a production line to assemble the BaumPrint 18 press as Hamada announced it would stop selling printing presses into the North American market. Most U.S.-based Baumfolder dealers, which previously sold Hamada presses, will now focus their attention on the BaumPrint 18. This small-format press is rated to run at 10,000 sheets per hour with a printing format of 17.83 x 12.99 inches. Sheet size can range from a minimum of 3.94 x 3.94 inches to a maximum of 18.11 x 13.39 inches.

Wades Bindery Repair was established in 1986 by industry veterans Wade and Mary Sears. The company primarily focuses on the sale and service of post-press technology, while Wade Sears has over 30 years of experience installing pressroom technology into small- to mid-sized printing and finishing companies.

Baumfolder Corp., now owned by Heidelberg, traces is roots back to a 1935 distribution agreement with Liberty Folder Company, when dealer Russell Baum began moving these Liberty branded machines across the eastern United States. Baum took over the folding company in 1950.

Muller Martini signed an exclusive agreement with Chicago-based printing company R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD) to develop “the first fully integrated digital inkjet press and inline binding system.” This production line, according to Muller, will focus on producing books and reach speeds of up to 800 feet per minute.

The first six systems, to be formed through the combination of RRD’s proprietary ProteusJet press, which hits 1,200 dpi, and Muller Martini's SigmaLine, are scheduled for United States-based deployment through 2010 and 2011.

Just days earlier, at PRINT 09, HP announced it had finalized plans to collaborate on the development of inkjet-based presses with RRD, still regarded as the world’s largest commercial printing company, although it also carries several print-related services.

While they have not yet signed formal agreements, HP and RRD stated that they initially plan to focus on the development of a Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) printing system. MICR-based printing is primarily used by financial institutions for security reasons on products like cheques. The resulting printing system, which the companies expect will ultimately be offered as an “optional component” of the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press (formerly known as the HP Inkjet Web Press), would focus on transactional and direct-mail work.
La Presse
Guy Crevier, publisher of North America’s largest French-language broadsheet newspaper, La Presse, said that the 125-year-old newspaper would cease publishing in print and online if the union is unwilling to make concessions by December 1, 2009.

The Canadian Press obtained an email Crevier sent to employees in which he described the challenges facing La Presse, writing, “Under its current business model, it has no chance for survival… As of Dec. 1, La Presse will no longer be able to pursue its activities without significant changes to its costs. If there's no settlement by that date, the publication of La Presse will be suspended, on paper and on [the online edition] Cyberpresse. . .”

The situation is emphasized by Crevier’s offer to let union representatives see financial statements concerning the newspaper in hopes of reaching a workable contract to continue publishing into 2010. Executives also plan to eliminate around 100 jobs from the operation’s current staff of 700. At the end of June, La Presse stopped publishing its Sunday edition. The newspaper is printed by Transcontinental Inc.

The December 1 ultimatum comes as La Presse is celebrating its 125th year of operation. The newspaper is the prime print asset of Gesca Ltee, which is a wholly owned division of Power Corp. of Canada, controlled by the Desmarais family.

PaperlinX has published its 2009 results (financial year ended June 30) which includes a AUD$798.2 million loss (about CAD$742 million). The company had a profit of AUD$72.2 million in 2008.

Commenting on the result, PaperlinX CEO Tom Park said, “This has been an extremely difficult year, with paper demand in all markets severely depressed by the global recession.”

The report states that in the second half of its financial year, global paper demand shrunk upwards of 20 percent. Through the sale of Australian Paper and European properties, the company managed to reduce its debt load from over AUD$1-billion at the end of 2008 to $217 million.

The company net earnings from paper merchanting, before interest and taxes, was $82.3 million, down 56 percent from the prior year. Its North American and European trading fared even worse, falling 76 percent and 69 percent respectively. In Australia, New Zealand and Asia, the company posted gains of 23 percent.

As at 30 June 2009, PaperlinX had 7,199 employees, down 23.1 percent from 2008.

PRINT 09
With PRINT 09 set to begin this weekend, PrintAction.com previews technological highlights of the five major sheetfed-press manufacturers operating in North America, Heidelberg, KBA, Komori, manroland and Mitsubishi, as well as products from Agfa, EFI, MGI and Standard Finishing.

More previews will be posted throughout the week, with companies featured to date including:

Agfa     EFI     Heidelberg     Komori     manroland

MGI     Mitsubishi     Standard Finishing

PRINT 09-related tech announcements that have appeared in PrintAction.com's Vendor Wire:

Ricoh     Muller Martini     Muller Martini    InfoPrint     xpedx    

Kodak     Xerox     Fujifilm     Pageflex     Pageflex     XMPie

HP     HP     Canon     Dynagram     Dynagram     Prism     Van Son

 


As AbitibiBowater continues to operate under bankruptcy protection, the Montreal-based company has sold approximately 121,000 hectares of private timberlands in Quebec for $53 million in cash.


Timberlands located in the Mauricie, Charlevoix and Saguenay regions were sold to two newly formed limited partnerships held by Société de gestion d'actifs forestiers Solifor, s.e.c. Timberlands located in the Côte-Nord region were sold to Aménagements forestiers Portneuf.

AbitibiBowater is primarily focused on the production of newsprint but also manufacturers commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. It is the eighth largest publicly traded pulp and paper manufacturer in the world, with 23 pulp and paper facilities and 29 wood products facilities located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Korea.


Bruce Bond, President of Unisource Canada, announced that the deal to acquire Mondrian Hall Inc. has been completed, after the national supplies distributor and another company, EM Plastics & Electric Products, submitted competing bids and both signed purchase agreements.

In mid-August, Unisource Canada resubmitted a bid to RSM Ritcher, which was assigned to look after Mondrian's assets under Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act protection, as EM Plastics' agreement was taken off the table.

With the Mondrian assets now secrured, Unisource Canada will expand its presence in the wide-format and sign printing markets. The company states Mondrian Hall will operate as a division of Unisource Canada.

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