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Xerox Corp. today announced revenues of US$3.7 billion for its second quarter of 2009, which represents an 18 percent drop from second-quarter 2008. The company states this includes a 5-point negative impact from currency.

"We have seen sequential improvement with revenue up 5 percent from the first quarter,” said Ursula Burns, Xerox Chief Executive Officer. “However, assuming current economic conditions persist, we expect revenue will remain under pressure during the balance of this year.”

Equipment sale revenue declined 29 percent during the company’s second quarter, while operating cash flow reached US$609 million. Xerox ended the second quarter with a cash balance of $1.2 billion, and total debt was down US$347 million through the first half of the year. Xerox plans to reduce overall debt by US$1 billion this year.


Shortly after Unisource canceled its agreement to purchase Gould Paper Canada, xpedx Canada led by Mike Kearney steps in to purchase the paper distributor. xpedx Canada, a subsidiary of International Paper, on June 20 announced it had completed the acquisition of Vancouver-based Gould Paper Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of privately held Gould Paper Corporation, headquartered in New York City.

Gould Paper Canada, which employs approximately 65 people, and with distribution facilities in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, will operate as part of xpedx Canada, a business of xpedx, International Paper’s distribution business and one of North America’s largest business-to-business distributors.

"This is an exciting opportunity for xpedx Canada to expand its market reach to three major western Canadian markets—Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton," said Kearney, VP of xpedx Canada. "Gould Paper Canada has a strong reputation for providing great customer service."

Unisource Canada announced it had canceled a May 15 agreement to purchase Gould just two days after a new, June 14 agreement to purchase large-format equipment Mondrian-Hall.

 

 


After its June 13 filing under Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act for bankruptcy protection, Fraser Papers of Toronto receives a reorganization extension from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The extension is for 90 days through October 16, 2009, and was supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the court appointed monitor of Fraser Papers’ CCAA process. The company also announced that on July 13, 2009, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, recognizing the CCAA proceeding as a foreign main proceeding, granted a stay of proceedings for Fraser Papers.

In a statement about the protection extension, Fraser Papers also noted the approval of additional financing from the Government of New Brunswick, which is to be targeted toward the completion of the company's lumber mill in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Fraser Papers expects construction on the modernization project to commence in the coming weeks, with completion targeted for the end of the third quarter.


Walmart will start offering printing services targeted at small businesses from its PhotoCentre locations in Canada.

"These new services are an integral part of our commitment to provide our customers the best assortment of on-demand printing services," said Crystal Taylor, National Manager for Walmart PhotoCentre.  "Whether it is photo, photo gifts or business printing items, Walmart offers our customers great products at low prices. Walmart PhotoCentre is much more than just photo printing." 

PNI Digital Media, headquartered in Vancouver, will provide the online gateway as well as templates for printing products aimed at the small business market as well as general consumers. Part of the Walmart PhotoCentre, Business Printing enables small business owners and consumers to easily order marketing and business materials using designs provided by PNI Digital Media. Products include business cards, notepads, letterhead, envelopes, fliers and posters. Walmart Business Printing also offers services such as colour, black & white copy services and coil-bound printing services.

Furthermore, the Business Printing service offers a broad range of promotional products such as customized calendars, fridge magnets, golf balls and mugs upon which companies can print their logos and other information on.

Each product is available in a range of standard sizes, and all orders are available for home or office delivery, or pick up at any of Walmart's 312 stores across Canada.

"With an average of 130,000 new small businesses opening across Canada yearly, we're excited at the growth potential of this marketplace" said Kyle Hall, Chief Executive Officer of PNI Digital Media.  "By leveraging the extensibility of our PNI Digital Media Platform, Walmart can instantly offer compelling products in a whole new market segment.  Over time we will see more services and products added to the PNI Digital Media Platform that are focused on solutions for small business." 


Two days after announcing an agreement to buy Mondrian-Hall, which itself filed for bankruptcy protection on July 8 of this year, Unisource Canada has now canceled an earlier agreement to purchase Gould Paper.

Unisource explained its decision in a single-sentence statement made on July 16: "Unisource Canada Inc. has been unable to reach a conclusive agreement with respect to the acquisition of Gould Paper Canada Ltd. in a timely manner and, as a result, has decided not to pursue the acquistion further at this time."

The original agreement to purchase Gould was made in mid-May 2009. On July 14, Unisource announced its intentions to purchase national wide-format equipment distributor Mondrian-Hall, which is a deal it expects to close by mid-August. On July 8, Mondrian-Hall filed for bankruptcy protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act., through RSM Richter.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has been petitioned by Catalyst Paper over recently set property tax rates in North Cowichan, Port Alberni and Campbell River; and potentially Powell River in another filing. These are the four municipalities holding Catalyst Paper’s four British Columbia-based paper mills.

In a press release about the action, Catalyst argues, under Section 262 of the Local Government Act, “that the tax rates are unreasonable and therefore beyond the municipalities' jurisdiction. Catalyst has held long-standing discussions with each of these municipalities in an effort to address the issue of unreasonable tax rates imposed on major industry. The bylaws being challenged would perpetuate disparities that are unsustainable in light of extremely challenging economic conditions.”

The company continues to state that major industry tax rates have been set at a rate 20 times above the residential rate in North Cowichan, while the other three municipalities have seen a smaller increase that is still 10 times the residential rate. Referencing British Columbia’s provincial neighbour, Catalyst points out that Alberta typically caps such rates at four times the residential rate.

Catalyst estimates that the new bylaws would result in a 2009 property tax cost of $19.3 million. That estimate excludes school, district and other provincial levies – “This is a modest reduction of about 10 per cent from the previous year's payments of $21.7 million, and remains far higher than the cost of municipal services consumed - estimated at between $4 and $6 million in 2008.”

Commenting on the action, Richard Garneau, CEO of Catalyst, stated, “We've done all we can to impress on municipal governments that this is a shared problem and that the viability of the industrial economy in coastal BC is at stake. Excessive property taxes are diverting scarce capital that's needed to support the long-term viability of our operations as we face one of the most difficult markets in decades.

“Legal action was not our first choice. But the current bylaws suggest that our appeals for tax equity have not been heard, and continuing to pay excessive tax bills with borrowed money is just not sustainable or prudent, especially in current credit markets."

Based in Richmond, BC, Catalyst is the largest producer of specialty printing papers and newsprint in Western North America and also produces market kraft pulp. It claims to own Western Canada's largest paper recycling facility. The company's six mills have a combined annual production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes.

RRD Quebecor World

RR Donnelley & Sons Company states its proposal to acquire substantially all of the assets and assume certain liabilities of Quebecor World has expired.

"We are disappointed by the decision of Quebecor World to reject our June 8 proposal," said Thomas Quinlan III, President and CEO of RR Donnelley (RRD). "We believe that our proposal was undoubtedly in the best interests of creditors based on a comparison of the distributions under our proposal with the distributions under the proposed stand-alone plan of reorganization. We are particularly disappointed because of the efforts and concessions made by us to adapt our proposal in response to concerns that were communicated to us."

RRD’s original May 12, US$1.3 billion proposal to Quebecor World was soon followed with modified versions. RRD states these June 2 and June 8 modifications – amounting to about US$200 million in cash and stock – were based on “preliminary due diligence” and to respond to feedback from certain Quebecor World creditors.

"This would have been an excellent fit for RR Donnelley and the best opportunity for the Quebecor World creditors. However, given our view of the Quebecor World operations, a transaction ascribing a higher value to Quebecor World than we offered in our last proposal is simply not in the interests of RR Donnelley," said Quinlan. "We look forward to continuing to pursue other strategic initiatives."

After two days of competition in North Carolina at the Phoenix Challenge international flexography competition, the teams representing Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School placed first and third places. This marks the second year in a row teams from Gordon Graydon has topped the competition.

Hannah Plavnick and Stephanie Hammond won the first place gold medal with a score of 605 out of a possible 625. They each received a US$1000 bursary. This was the second 1st place standing for Plavnick as she placed 1st last year as well with another partner. Plavnick has been accepted into Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program for the Fall of 2009.

Grant Izukawa and Abdul Murad placed third and brought home the bronze medals. They missed out of a second place finish by only six points. Second place went to a team from North Carolina.

Grade 10 student Frances Lee was recognized for the best T-shirt design, while instructor Peter Belanger won the Diann Teague award for leading the winning team. Twenty teams were part of the competition, including three from Canada.

After two days of competition in North Carolina at the Phoenix Challenge international flexography competition, the teams representing Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School placed first and third places. This marks the second year in a row teams from Gordon Graydon has topped the competition.

Hannah Plavnick and Stephanie Hammond won the first place gold medal with a score of 605 out of a possible 625. They each received a US$1000 bursary. This was the second 1st place standing for Plavnick as she placed 1st last year as well with another partner. Plavnick has been accepted into Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program for the Fall of 2009.

Grant Izukawa and Abdul Murad placed third and brought home the bronze medals. They missed out of a second place finish by only six points. Second place went to a team from North Carolina.

Grade 10 student Frances Lee was recognized for the best T-shirt design, while instructor Peter Belanger won the Diann Teague award for leading the winning team. Twenty teams were part of the competition, including three from Canada.

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