Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board of Transcontinental Inc., is the first Canadian recipient of the Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership presented by the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD), which she will receive in New York on May 10, 2017. WCD is a global organization that brings together more than 3,500 women serving on over 8,500 boards.

The Visionary Award, according to WCD, aims to recognize Marcoux’ proven leadership in making the strategic decisions and sound investments which are driving TC Transcontinental’s transformation while ensuring the organization’s short- and long-term profitable growth. WCD continued to explain the award reflects her personal commitment to the development and advancement of women into leadership roles, particularly as members of boards of directors and as senior executives.

“It is an honour to be recognized by WCD in the Visionary Award for Strategic Leadership category. By fostering a long-term view, I strive to make decisions that are in the interest of all our stakeholders in order to ensure TC Transcontinental's long-term growth,” said Marcoux. “I'm grateful to be able to rely on a strong and diverse board, which supported the strategic shift in our organization that our seasoned management team has been diligently implementing for nearly three years. Finally, I am proud to continue building a company that also stands out for its values of respect, teamwork, performance and innovation.”

WCD continues to explain the award also highlights the caliber of governance practices Marcoux upholds as Chair of Transcontinental and also as a director on the boards of George Weston Ltd., Rogers Communications Inc. and Power Corporation of Canada.  

Marcoux has previously been recognized three times as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network. In 2016, she was awarded the Medal of the National Assembly of Quebec, recognizing the impact of her continuous community involvement. In 2015, the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec presented her with the Mercure Leadership Germaine-Gibara Award.

TC Transcontinental is Canada's largest printer with operations in print, flexible packaging, publishing and digital media.

Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management on March 23, 2017, will host its annual Job Fair at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) in downtown Toronto.

The 2017 version of the annual Graphic Communications Management (GCM) Job Fair, which began in the late-1980s, is preparing to host approximately 130 GCMstudents interviewing for internships and 140 graduating students seeking full-time jobs. These numbers eclipse last year’s already packed event, which involved close to 325 people, including 67 graduating students and 130 interns.

In 2016, the GCM Job Fair involved 69 industry companies, both printers and suppliers, looking for employees. There are already more than 70 companies signed up to participate in 2017.

The GCM Job Fair is run in a speed-networking format where graduating students and potential interns, divided into two distinct time sessions, spend 10 minutes interviewing with prospective employers before moving on to a new table at the sound of a gong.

The March 23 event begins at 4:00 pm with graduating-student interviews, which continues until 6:00 pm, followed by a buffet-style dinner, and then intern interviews scheduled to take place between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

Based on a curriculum change two years ago, GCM students can now specialize in specific areas like packaging or publishing in the final two years or their four-year degree program. Students can also now complete minors in areas like business, human resources, or professional communications.

More information can be founded at www.gcmjobfair.com.

The second day of Graphics Canada, which runs from April 6 to 8 at the Toronto International Centre, is to include a new program called Label Forum Canada. Show organizers explain the program, targeting label printers and commercial printers, will include industry experts, consultants, package printers and technology suppliers.

Topics of Label Forum's panels and workshops include: identifying opportunities, North American and global industry market trends, selling value and avoiding the commodity trap, technology and investment choices, comparing printing processes, adoption of digital technologies, niche and new industry applications, improving colour reproduction, profitable colour management, and managing conformity across a range of substrates.

Print Media Centr, led by Deborah Corn, will be hosting Graphics Canada’s Innovations Theatre. IDEAlliance is running its G7 Summit and other primary educational attractions listed on the trade show’s Website include intelliPACK, SGIA Specialty Graphics Seminars and the Printing Sales Training Day, among others.
Langley Holdings, the engineering and industrial group that controls German press maker Manroland Sheetfed, released results for its most recent fiscal, ended 31 December, 2016. The company states it had a record year, with profits before tax up by 15 percent on the previous year, and that Manroland Sheetfed, acquired five years ago in February, had now returned the group's initial investment in full.

The group, led by Chairman Tony Langley, reported a pre-tax profit of €122.7 million on revenue of €900.9 million. Langley earned roughly 45 percent of its profits in Euro currency, 20 percent in US currency, 20 percent in GPB UK currency, and 15 percent in other currencies, although only a quarter of UK earnings were derived from the UK-based businesses, the majority coming from the UK subsidiaries of the European divisions.

Manroland Sheetfed is the group’s largest division in revenue and employee terms and has around 40 subsidiaries around the world. Under Langley’s ownership the company has installed around 500 printing presses, maintained several thousands more and applied for 169 patents. In 2014, the press builder introduced the new Roland 700 Evolution machine.

Piller, the German producer of power security systems, was the largest contributor to the group’s result. IT hosting and Cloud data centres were Piller's main driver in 2016, although healthcare, aircraft ground power and naval military systems also featured. Piller’s successes to date have been without any material levels of business from China, explains Langley Holdings, and in 2016 the company secured a cornerstone project for the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Piller equipment, according to the company, is installed at most of the world’s leading exchanges.

In November the group acquired the business and assets of Texas-based Active Power, a producer of kinetic energy storage devices, and merged the business into its Piller division.

ARO, Langley's French producer of welding technology for the automotive sector, also had another successful year on the back of a still buoyant sector. Langley explains there was generally a dearth of investment in the cement, gypsum, steel and alumina sectors though and Claudius Peters, the group’s German plant machinery producer, although profitable, was much less so on a subdued level of business.
Toronto’s Prinova Corp., a software developer for the Customer Communications Management (CCM) market, changed its corporate name to Messagepoint Inc. on effective March 1, 2017. The new name, according to the company, reflects the ongoing investment in and success of its Messagepoint CCM platform.

“We are thrilled to announce this new milestone for our company, simplifying our brands to the name that represents our founding principle that communicating with customers shouldn’t be hard,” said Nick Romano, co-founder and CEO, Messagepoint.

The Messagepoint cloud-based content management platform serves the CCM needs of large enterprise clients by providing a secure environment for business users to directly own and control messaging content for customer-facing print and digital communications.

Messagepoint won the 2016 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award for Best Multi-Channel Publishing Platform. It was also a finalist for the international 2016/2017 Cloud Awards program for the second year in a row.
Renaissance Printing Inc. becomes a new entrant into Greater Toronto Area’s printing community under the majority ownership of Annex Publishing & Printing. Renaissance, running a five-unit Mitsubishi Diamond 16 MAX-M commercial web press, is focused on providing turnkey printing services for publishers and marketers primarily in Ontario, as well as New York State, Pennsylvania, Quebec and throughout New England.

Annex Printing, the parent company of PrintAction magazine operating under its Annex Business Media arm, which is Canada’s largest business-to-business publishing group, purchased the remaining primary assets of Web Offset Publications (Ironstone Media) from that organization’s receiver after falling into creditor protection earlier this year, for the third time since 2012.

“It was back in an insolvent situation with other protection filings against it and we made a deal with the financial company that held the primary secured interest of the business and Annex is the majority shareholder,” says Mike Fredericks, CEO of Annex Publishing & Printing.

Pickering, Ontario-based Ironstone Media first filed under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in March 2012 and reached an agreement to restructure its operation. During this restructuring process, Annex purchased Ironstone’s Mitsubishi Diamond heatset web press. “Annex already owned the primary piece of the printing infrastructure. The company effectively rented it from us,” says Fredericks. “It is a great fit because we are already the [facility’s] second largest customer. All of our larger runs and different format work goes through that press.”

Fredericks explains Renaissance is a completely new company following a court vesting order that basically dissolved Web Offset to clear the newly purchased assets of old liabilities, affectively cleansing the company from all of its history.

“We did not practically assume any liability for anything they had in the past. It is fundamentally a brand new company,” continues Fredericks. He describes the asset purchase as a complicated transaction, rather than an acquisition, through Viva Financial Corp. with Web Offset in its third creditor protection filing (2012, 2015, 2017), centered around book of business, employees and Annex’ preexisting press purchase. “We hired the employees fresh yesterday so they are fundamentally all new staff and the whole company has been cleansed. Renaissance really is a Renaissance.”

Fredericks was in Renaissance’s Pickering plant this morning to discuss the transition with the printing operation’s approximate 90 employees. “As publishers, the only time you hear about printers is when they screw up and I never heard any of my Annex publishers complain about Web Offset,” says Fredericks. “They produce great quality and they get it out on time. So from my perspective it is a great printing company and it just needed some financial backbone.” Annex has been a customer of Web Offset for approximately 20 years.

Annex has long held a significant regional printing position based out of its headquarters in Simcoe, Ontario, which also houses editorial, sales and administration assets. In August 2015, the company installed its new 8-colour, 40-inch Komori LS perfecting press. “Annex will always be a publishing company first that has an interest in the printing industry,” says Fredericks. “This is a commitment from our side that we still believe in the world of print.”
Xplor International, the worldwide electronic document systems association, announced the recipients of its 2017 Technology and Application of the Year Awards. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on March 28, 2017, during the Xploration 17 event at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

The Application of the Year Award is presented to an individual, a company or an organization to recognize outstanding achievement in the imaginative application of current technology and/or unique implementation of existing document and communication systems. This award is open to members and non-members.

The winner of the 2017 Xplor Application of the Year is BMO Bank of Montreal and GMC Software. Xplor explains the initiative BMO undertook is a one-of-a-kind customer onboarding project that pioneered an end-to-end digital account opening process, enabled by the creation of dynamic eForms and eSignature capabilities.

An Honorable Mention is being awarded to Gore Mutual which leveraged technology from OpenText Exstream, Infusion and Duck Creek Technologies to create uBiz – a platform that plugs directly into broker Websites, replicating their design palette to provide their small business customers with a seamless digital experience.  New customers can get quotes, policies and secure insurance all online.

An additional Honorable Mention is being awarded to Health First and Ricoh USA, Inc., who collaborated on identifying areas of improvement and best practices in workflows, as well as implementing a centralized monitoring and management solution. Working together Health First and RICOH Managed Services utilizing RICOH ProcessDirector to reduced errors, increase security, and improve overall efficiency.

The Technology of the Year Award honours an individual, company or organization that has conceived and developed an original concept leading to a significant advancement in the industry.  This can be a new program, product, or technology that notably enhances the capabilities of document and communication systems.

The winner of the 2017 Xplor Technology of the Year is being awarded to Pitney Bowes Clarity Solutions. Harnessing the power of the Industrial Internet and “industrial data science”, Pitney Bowes Clarity solutions is a new cloud offering for Pitney Bowes systems that leverages data analytics and services to help increase productivity and lower the cost of running a print and mail operation.  Clarity collects, integrates and organizes existing sensor data from remote systems to support real-time insight, predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance.

An Honorable Mention for Technology of the Year is being awarded to Elixir Technologies Corporation for its Tango+ product. Elixir’s Tango+ is a 100 percent browser-based content lifecycle management platform that enables companies to create, manage and deliver business-critical contracts, correspondence, and other communications via print and e-channels.

An additional Honorable Mention for the Xplor Technology of the Year award is being presented to Xerox Corporation for its Direct to Object Inkjet Printer. This inkjet drop on demand printer can print directly onto a wide range of substrates (including plastics, glass, ceramics and metal) and virtually any surface type (including smooth, rough, slightly curved or stepped).

Xplor International will also be announcing the recipients of the Xplorer of the Year and Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement awards at Xploration 17 on March 28, 2017.
The third-year students of Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program last week hosted the SPECTRUM+ Colloquium focused on expanded gamut printing. The colloquium, an annual event produced by GCM students, was built around three speakers making an impact in the world expanded gamut, including Kyle McVey, Director of Client Services at Jones Packaging, colour scientist John Seymour, who worked at QuadTech for more than 20 years, and Nawar Mahfooth, Chief Science Officer at ColorXTC.

McVey described three days of trails undertaken by Jones, one of North America’s most prominent packaging printers, for a client who wanted to venture into expanded gamut. Seymour focused on the history of expanded gamut, tracing its roots back to 1960 and reemergence with the arrival of digital prepress, and Mahfooth focused on the Dynamic Press Profiling technology developed by ColorXTC.

Ryerson student Andrew Ouzounis provides a photo essay of the event held at the university’s Ted Rogers School of Business.
ALTANA AG has acquired The Landa Group's Metallography technology, which was first unveiled by Landa at the drupa printing exhibition in June 2016. The technology is designed for producing metallized graphics using an alternative method to traditional foil-transfer processes. Landa claims this technology allows for the metallization graphics at up to half the cost of conventional foil stamping.

Landa will progressively transfer the remaining development and engineering work to ALTANA’s ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division, who will be bringing the Metallography technology to market in the coming years.   

“We are excited about this acquisition, which opens up new growth opportunities for ALTANA and strengthens our position as a leading solution provider for the printing industry,” said Martin Babilas, CEO, ALTANA. “We are looking forward to our continued close and trustful cooperation with Landa as we prepare to bring this promising technology to market.”

The further development work, as well as sales and distribution, will be steered by ACTEGA Metal Print GmbH based in Lehrte near Hanover, Germany. Jan Franz Allerkamp, who has been with ALTANA since 2010, was named Managing Director of the newly formed ALTANA company.

“We are delighted that ALTANA has embraced our zero-waste Nano-Metallography technology, for there can be no better owner for this business than ALTANA,” said Benny Landa, Chairman of the Landa Group. “As an innovative partner of its customers ALTANA has a wealth of experience and know-how in graphic arts.” Landa continued to explain the sale will allow The Landa Group to focus on its Nanography technology.
Winpak Ltd. of Winnipeg, Manitoba released its fourth quarter results, which included an earnings performance that the company describes as the highest of any quarter in its 40-year history. Winpak manufactures and distributes high-quality packaging materials and related packaging machines, which are primarily for the packaging of perishable foods, beverages and in healthcare applications.

Net income attributable to equity holders of the company for the fourth quarter of 2016 amounted to $28.6 million or 44 cents in earnings per share (EPS), surpassing the 2015 corresponding result of $27.6 million or 43 cents per share by 3.4 percent.  As mentioned, the represents the highest earnings performance of any quarter in the Company's 40-year history.  

For the year ended December 25, 2016, net income attributable to equity holders of the Company of $104.3 million or $1.61 per share eclipsed the prior year record net income of $99.2 million or $1.53 per share by a respectable 5.1 percent.

Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 of $215.6 million also set new heights, according to the company, and exceeded the 2015 final quarter level of $205.7 million by 4.8 percent. Volumes continued where they left off at the end of the first three quarters, explains Winpak, advancing by 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, when compared to the same period in 2015.  

On a percentage basis, biaxially oriented nylon volumes led the way, explains the company, accelerating by over 30 percent followed by packaging machinery and parts sales which rebounded from a slower third quarter of the year. Winpak continued to explain specialty film shipments also recovered from their decline in the previous quarter by moving forward in low double-digit percentage terms as bottlenecks within the operation continued to be addressed. Modified atmosphere packaging volumes ascended in the high single-digit percentage range as ongoing progress was made at securing additional business at major US protein customers.  

After a particularly strong third quarter, explains Winpak, rigid container and lidding volumes advanced by low single-digit percentage increases over the 2015 final quarter. Custom container shipments, including specialty beverage, along with condiment packaging and trays for home meal replacements bolstered volume growth. Lidding for yogurt applications provided further gains.

For 2016, revenue reached an all-time high for the company at $822.5 million, up by 3.2 percent from the $797.2 million recorded in the previous year. Volumes grew by a notable 6.8 percent, explains Winpak, with all major product groups progressing.

For the current year, gross profit margins attained a level of 32.7 percent of revenue versus the 32.3 percent reached in 2015.  While volumes advanced by 6.8 percent in 2016, gross profit only grew by 4.5 percent from $257.8 million in 2015 to $269.3 million in the present year.

Following a strong finish to 2016, the company explains it remains optimistic as it enters 2017 in terms of volume and earnings advancement.  Winpak continues its strategic focus on organic growth with opportunities in the sales pipeline progressing on the road to new revenue for the corporation. In particular, the company is targeting additional business from North America's major food processors.

Releasing results for the third quarter of its current fiscal year, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG states it is still on course to increase its annual profit as planned. During the third quarter (October 1 to December 31, 2016), the company’s operating result (EBITDA) and the net result after taxes improved further compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

After nine months, Heidelberg explains its current fiscal sales of €1.7 billion were slightly below the previous year’s levels of €1.8 billion, as it expected, also stating a large number of orders placed at drupa, with longer delivery times, will be supplied on schedule in the fourth quarter.

Over the same period, incoming orders at €1.99 billion were approximately 4.5 percent higher than the previous year’s value (€1.90 billion). At €739 million, the order backlog was around 26 percent up on the previous year’s figure (€586 million). As a result, Heidelberg explains it has a good platform for achieving the significant sales growth planned in the fourth quarter.

“The improvements in results in the third quarter show that Heidelberg is on the right course to achieve sustainable profitability,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “We anticipate we will further increase our annual profit with a strong final quarter.”

Heidelberg, in releasing its Q3 results, stated it is realigning its organization to accelerate its digital transformation for high-growth customer segments in the years ahead. In future, Heidelberg explains there will be a division that will develop, manufacture and supply appropriate digital technologies and products for new business models. Another division, according to the company, will devise and market these models.

“Heidelberg goes digital. We are getting the company fit for the digital future,” said Hundsdörfer. “To do that, we will develop and roll out our own innovative business ideas. However, we will also be strengthening our position in this area through acquisitions.”

Heidelberg’s current third quarter EBITDA, excluding special items, improved to €49 million in the third quarter (previous year: €40 million). The total figure after nine months was €94 million (previous year: €119 million). At €-2 million, special items in the quarter under review equaled the figure for the same quarter of the previous year (€-2 million). The total figure after nine months was €-8 million (previous year: €-24 million). The financial result for the period under review matched the previous year’s level at €-42 million. Consequently, the net result after taxes in the quarter under review increased substantially to €18 million (previous year: €7 million). At €-10 million for the nine-month period, it was on a par with the corresponding period of the previous year (€-7 million).

Free cash flow in the third quarter was slightly negative at €-10 million, and overall, after nine months, it was also at €-10 million. Compared to the financial year-end on March 31, 2016, the equity of the Heidelberg Group dropped to €246 million as at December 31, 2016. This was primarily due, according to the company, to changes in the actuarial interest rates for pensions.

“We have the financial strength to actively shape our route into the digital world,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO. “The balanced financing framework also gives us the freedom to drive forward new business models through targeted acquisitions.”

Thanks to the solid incoming orders and the rise in the order backlog, Heidelberg states it remains focused on its targets for 2016/2017. Although planned acquisitions have not been implemented yet, the company is still striving for marginal sales growth in light of a strong final quarter of the year.

Despite the inputs for the accelerated expansion of the digital and the service business, it also expects to achieve an EBITDA margin before special items on par with the previous year’s level in the 2016/2017 financial year. At the same time, the financial result will improve further on account of declining interest expenses. Thus, Heidelberg is still aiming for a moderate year-on-year increase in its net result after taxes for the year as a whole.
DATA Communications Management Corp. entered into separate agreements to acquire Eclipse Colour & Imaging Corp., located in Burlington, Ontario, and Thistle Printing Limited, located in Toronto, Ontario. The acquisitions of Eclipse and Thistle are expected to close on February 22, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.  

DATA will acquire substantially all of the assets of Eclipse, through an asset purchase, for a net price of approximately $8.8 million. The company will acquire the common shares, through a share purchase, of Thistle for a net price of approximately $6.1 million.

Eclipse specializes in large-format and point-of-purchase printing with approximately 100 employees operating in an 80,000-square-foot facility. Upon completion of this transaction, DATA intends to relocate its current wide format capabilities from its Mississauga, Ontario, facility to Calgary, Alberta.

The Eclipse acquisition significantly expands DATA’s large- and grand-format printing capabilities. Eclipse focuses on providing in-store print, outdoor, transit, display, packaging, kitting and fulfillment services.

Eclipse generated approximately $21.3 million in revenues (unaudited) for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2016. DATA notes that over the past three years, Eclipse has experienced average revenue growth rates of approximately 10 percent per year.

“Ralph Misale, COO, and Grant Malcolm, CFO, the two principals of Eclipse, have built a tremendous business since they acquired Eclipse in 2010 by way of a management buyout,” said Michael Sifton, CEO of DATA.  “We are excited to have Ralph, Grant and the entire Eclipse team join DATA.”

Thistle is a commercial printing company with approximately 65 employees operating in a 42,000-square-foot facility. This purchase will allow DATA to insource commercial printing capabilities which it has historically outsourced to local suppliers. The acquisition also adds expertise in design, prepress and bindery services to DATA's portfolio, and complements DATA’s current capabilities in direct mail, fulfillment and data management.

Thistle generated approximately $16.4 million in revenues (audited) for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016. “Thistle's capabilities are highly complementary to our own,” said Sifton. “While we have the leading commercial print capabilities in Western Canada located in our Calgary, Alberta centre of excellence, DATA has not had meaningful commercial print capabilities in Eastern Canada, historically relying on third party production partners.

“We believe that the acquisition of Thistle will enable our sales force to capitalize on having a dedicated Eastern production facility, close to the important downtown Toronto market,” continued Sifton, “and we expect to be able to enhance our margins that we would otherwise have had to share with outsourced providers.”

DATA's net purchase price of approximately $8.8 million for the assets of Eclipse will include approximately: $2.9 million payable in cash on closing; $1.3 million through the issuance of 634,263 common shares of DATA; and $4.6 million in the form of a non-interest bearing vendor take back note, which will be payable in two equal installments on each of the first and second anniversaries of closing of the Eclipse transaction. The purchase price will be subject to certain closing adjustments relating to working capital.

DATA's net purchase price of Thistle for approximately $6.1 million will include approximately: $1.1 million payable in cash on closing; $1.5 million through the issuance of 644,445 common shares of DATA; and $3.5 million in the form of a non-interest bearing vendor take back note, to be payable over a 24 month period in equal monthly payments. The purchase price will be subject to certain closing adjustments relating to working capital.
In connection with the two acquisitions, DATA will assume a total of approximately $8.0 million in outstanding long term indebtedness, including capital lease obligations, and intends to draw approximately $7.8 million under its revolving credit facility on closing to refinance certain indebtedness of the two companies and for related transaction expenses.

DATA also announced it has arranged an increase in the total available commitment under its senior revolving credit facility with a Canadian chartered bank by $10 million to up to $35 million. The move provides DATA with a total borrowing base of up to $72 million from $50 million.
ICON Digital Productions Inc. has acquired Toronto Trade Printing, a well-known 20,000-square-foot operation running two 40-inch sheetfed offset presses less than four kilometers away from ICON’s 90,000-square-foot facility in Markham, Ontario. The purchase comes less than two months after ICON Digital underwent a rebranding effort in December 2016 to create three distinct divisions operating under the names of ICON Visual, ICON Media and ICON Print.

The ICON Visual division generates more than half of the parent company’s annual revenue, which in its most recent fiscal year amounted to just under $40 million, based on one of Canada’s most powerful large-format imaging infrastructures. ICON Visual, generating around 80 percent of its revenue through roll-fed Durst machines, traces its roots back to the company’s founding in 1995 as a pioneer in the display graphics sector.

ICON Media is responsible for managing national digital-signage networks for Blue Chip clients like Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as high-profile regional clients like Pearson Airport – way-finding screens – and Toronto’s Dundas Square. The division was established in 2009 after ICON purchased Gridcast and today works with clients to deploy signage networks with the ability to procure all of the necessary hardware, develop business plans and manage ever-changing content.

ICON Print is the third pillar of the company’s rebranding strategy, now focused on producing offset work in-house after it has been outsourcing such jobs for its client base. Last year alone, ICON oversaw the printing of more than 20-million direct-mail pieces in addition to a range of offset-produced marketing collateral. The company’s executive team spent the past several months looking at printing operations to purchase in the Greater Toronto Area.

With the acquisition of 25-year-old Toronto Trade, led by the printing expertise of President Kieron Pope and Vice President Steven Niles, ICON projects it will reach approximately $50 million in revenue by the end of its current fiscal year.

“We look at print not so much as old technology. We look at it as just another communications medium. In fact, our numbers tell us there is a lot of growth in print still,” says Juan Lau, President and CEO of ICON Digital, who co-founded the company in 1995 with business partners Peter Evans and Peter Yeung. “The last three or four years we kept looking at our financial statements and, ironically, the fastest growing service sector was commercial printing – and we were not even trying.”

Kieron Pope and Steven Niles are to remain in their leadership roles with the offset-printing operation. “This secures a bright future and legacy for our staff and customers and we couldn't be more excited to be part of a progressive organization like ICON,” said Pope, in a press release about the acquisition.
Multi-Bookbinding has purchased the assets of Quebec City's Spiraplast, a producer of high-quality PVC wire for spiral binding. Founded in 1988 by André Primeau, Spiraplast has a fleet of equipment which includes a Deltaplast D45 extruder line and four spiral forming machines from Renz and Bomco.
All of this equipment has now been integrated into Multi-Bookbinding's 57,000-square-foot plant in Shawinigan, Quebec, positioned in the middle of the main printing centres of Montreal, Quebec City, Beauce, Montmagny and Ottawa. Spiraplast’s client base consists of binderies, copy centres, printers, and professional offices throughout Quebec and Ontario.
“We’re proud with this addition to our services. There are only two other companies in Canada that produce spirals made from PVC particles,” said Yvon Sauvageau, President of Multi-Bookbinding. “Binderies are always under pressure to deliver in record time. Vertical integration is one solution, plus we create new jobs in our versatile team of 60 employees.”

Sauvageau has led Multi-Bookbinding as President since 2008, shortly after he and a group of associates began a process to acquire the company following the passing of its founder (1988), Suzanne Ferron. The company, with 60 employees, is known for being one of the largest case binderies in the country and also as a large producer of perfect binding, creating more than six million bound units a year.
Xerox Corporation and Electronics For Imaging entered a new strategic partnership to develop what the company's describe as a next generation digital front end (DFE) to drive Xerox production presses. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The agreement includes the sale of Xerox’s FreeFlow Print Server (FFPS) DFE business to EFI. Under the terms of the deal, EFI will continue to produce and support FFPS to avoid interruptions for current software customers.

“Customers will gain a powerful solution with more efficiencies, performance and quality to meet the most demanding production requirements,” said Andrew Copley, President, Graphic Communications Solutions, Xerox.

Xerox functionality from FFPS is to be integrated with EFI’s Fiery product. The companies explain that EFI sales and technical field resources will work side-by-side with Xerox equipment sales reps, in regard to FFPS installations.

“This next step in our strategic alliance will give customers the industry’s highest performing DFE with unparalleled imaging and colour management,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI. “EFI integration among the DFE, workflow software, and management information systems products deliver the higher levels of automation and productivity that are key to print businesses taking full advantage of the opportunities with digital printing.”

Xerox and EFI have a long-standing partnership in terms of integrating technologies. Most recently, Xerox collaborated with EFI to develop a new print server, the Xerox IJ Print Server powered by Fiery, to drive the recently introduced Xerox Trivor 2400 inkjet press. The DFE handles a range of data streams, while enabling integration, colour management and integration with existing workflows.

The next generation DFE coming from this new partnership will be integrated with EFI’s Productivity Suites, which includes management information systems like PACE, PrintSmith Vision, Monarch, and Radius ERP. Additionally, the DFE will integrate with Xerox FreeFlow Core and XMPie workflows, as well as third-party prepress software like Agfa Apogee, Heidelberg Prinect and Kodak Prinergy.

The agreement, explains the company, is for FFPS only and does not impact the Xerox workflow solutions that carry a FreeFlow sub-brand name (FreeFlow Core, FreeFlow VI Suite, FreeFlow Makeready and FreeFlow Digital Publisher).

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