Mergers & Acquisitions

Specialties Graphic Finishers, under the leadership of Norm Beange, has purchased 128-year-old Anstey Book Binding of Toronto.

Anstey Book Binding was founded in 1882 in Toronto and has since grown to become a high-end provider of bindery services and also developed its own line of stationery products.

In 1994, C.J. Graphics owner Jay Mandarino and Neil Stewart bought Anstey and went into a partnership. A third partner, Doug Laxdal, Founder of The Gas company, a digital graphics studio, joined Anstey approximately five years ago.

After the sale, Neil Stewart will remain as President of Anstey, which has 15 full-time employees.

"We saw a good fit with Norm," said Stewart. "It was a good opportunity for us to grow."

Quad/Graphics has finished its acquisition of World Color press this week and has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange as of today.

“This is a defining moment in our company’s history and for the future of our industry,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics. “We believe in the power of print in a multichannel media world, and we now have more talent, technology and solutions in more places to better serve our clients well into the future. Our new leadership includes the best and the brightest from both companies, building a unique team of innovative people who will redefine print for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Based on proforma unaudited revenues of both companies for the 12 months ending March 31, 2010, Quad estimates that the combined entity will have sales of $4.8 billion. It has approximately 28,000 employees working from more than 80 facilities in North America, Latin America and Europe. Quad/Graphics is now the second-largest provider of print and related multichannel solutions in the Americas, next to RR Donnelley.

Quad/Graphics was founded on July 13, 1971, by Harry V. Quadracci, son of Harry R. Quadracci, a pioneer in web offset printing. The company announced it will acquire Worldcolor in January.

“Quad/Graphics has had five months to plan this integration and is better prepared than any team with which I've been associated over the years,” stated Mark Angelson, former Chairman and CEO of Worldcolor, who continues on with Quad/Graphics as a member of the Board of Directors. “Harry Quadracci would be beaming with pride, as I am, at having passed the torch of leadership to such a remarkable group. They bring to this acquisition a seamless will to win, the best technology and the clearest strategic vision that I have seen. With Joel Quadracci at the helm, surrounded by the best of the best from these two great companies, Quad/Graphics should go from strength to strength, and all of our constituent groups will benefit.”

Paul Godfrey, current CEO of the National Post and leader of the group of creditors who purchased the newspaper assets of Canwest, has announced the new name for his newspaper empire: Postmedia Network Inc.

"From the earliest days of information delivery by post, to the current online world of posting news and information online as it happens and looking ahead to the constant evolution in a post-media universe, our new name reflects both the strong legacy and the exciting future of media as we become a new company," said Godfrey in a memo.

The deal is expected to close July 14. Godfrey got governmental approval for the purchase last month, valued at $1.1 billion. The chain of newspapers had numerous bidders, including Torstar and the West coast's Black Press. The Canwest newspapers chain contains some of Canada's largest newspapers, including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald and the Vancouver Sun.

Close to 92 percent World Color Press Inc.'s shareholders, on Thursday last week, approved Quad/Graphics' pending purchase of the former Montreal printing giant, while the deal also received Québec Superior Court clearance yesterday.

As a result of these two announcements, Quad is expected to complete the acquisition sometime this week, which will result in placing the newly merged entity on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

At a special shareholder's meeting in Toronto, 91.78 percent of the votes cast were in favour of authorizing the acquisition. After the final approval needed came from the Commercial Division of the Québec Superior Court, the companies announced that they expect to complete the deal on July 2, 2010.

Quad was previously cleared to list its class A common stock on the NYSE under the stock symbol QUAD, while the company's Chairman, President & CEO, Joel Quadracci, is scheduled to ring the exchange's opening bell on July 7, 2010.

“The extraordinary journey of the new World Color now is within a few days of reaching a highly satisfactory ending for our customers, our shareholders and for most of our employees," stated Mark Angelson, World Color's CEO, following the Quebec court approval. "Our impending association with Quad/Graphics is a great honour, and is by far the best outcome.

"This would not have been accomplished without the dedication and professionalism of all of our employees, directors and advisors. Hearty thanks to each of them for bringing us to this pivotal point in our history, and for enabling the latest step in the transformation of our industry.”

Baldwin Technology Company has agreed to purchase Nordson UV Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nordson Corporation, which develops UV curing systems. Nordson is to retain its industrial UV curing product lines.

"We have had a mutually beneficial alliance with Nordson for several years, so this combination is a logical step in that relationship," stated Karl S. Puehringer, President and CEO of Baldwin, in a press release. "It will enable our customers to partner with a single-source for both IR [infra-red] drying and UV [ultra violet] curing on both offset and digital printing."

The Nordson UV business, which sells systems under its own brand name, as well as the Horizon and Primarc brand names, is currenlty based in Slough, England.

The transaction is expected to close by June 30, when Nordson UV will be renamed Baldwin UV Ltd.

Quad/Graphics, in announcing this week that it has received clearance to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with plans to begin trading after the completion of the Worldcolor acquisition. The shares are scheduled to begin trading on July 6, 2010.

The company has already received approval from the Minister of Industry under the Investment Canada Act and needs a final order from the Quebec Superior Court pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (expected June 28), as well as final Worldcolor shareholder approval, scheduled for June 25.

If those details, along with customary closing conditions, are met, the company says it anticipates the transaction to complete July 2, 2010.

Quad/Graphics announced its intention to acquire Worldcolor in January. Worldcolor and Quad/Graphics had aggregate non-audited revenues of US$5.1 billion – for the 12-month period ended September 30, 2009 – and aggregate non-audited, adjusted EBITDA of US$647 million.

Current Worldcolor CEO Mark Angelson will stay on to help consolidating the two companies.

At the IPEX show this week, Ricoh announced that it is launching a new brand identity for InfoPrint, a venture until this point, had been jointly run by Ricoh and IBM. As of July, InfoPrint will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh.

The re-branding will consist of a new logo for any piece of equipment produced after May 14th. "The new logo illustrates the strategic evolution of our brand," said Peter Lazaroff, InfoPrint Solutions' Vice President of Marketing Communications. "It is a logical progression from the joint venture logo — which our many stakeholders have come to recognize — to our new logo, which includes several familiar elements, yet speaks to the progress of InfoPrint Solutions."

At the show, InfoPrint also introduced the InfoPrint 5000 MP, additional InfoPrint 4100 models and new workflow software.

The IBM/Ricoh joint venture was announced in January 2007 where Ricoh initially will acquired 51 percent of the new InfoPrint entity, which stemmed from IBM's Printing Systems division. The venture had always intended for Ricoh to progressively take more ownership in InfoPrint over the course of three years, culminating in the full ownership.

"This agreement is key to Ricoh's efforts to become a leading global provider of output and print solutions," said Masamitsu Sakurai, President and CEO, Ricoh at the joint venture's announcement in 2007. “We will invest the necessary resources to make InfoPrint Solutions Company into a core business. Building on our long association with IBM, we look forward to creating an infrastructure that can address complex solutions and mission critical environments."

After announcing plans to become the second-largest shareholder of Goss in June 2009, Shanghai Electric Corp. yesterday announced it plans to exercise its option to take on 100-percent ownership of Goss International in June 2010.

“We are taking this step because Goss International is a market leader with innovative technology and a highly effective global manufacturing, sales and support platform,” stated Xu Jianguo, Chairman of Shanghai Electric Group (SEG). “Full ownership of Goss International enhances our presence in the print sector, our world-class product portfolio and our ability to deliver innovation, value and security to a wider range of printers and publishers.”

SEG owns the Akiyama sheetfed press manufacturing entity, best known for its Jprint line, which Goss began to distribute in North America earlier this year. The company’s printing and packaging machinery division also controls companies that produce Purlux, Guanghua, Yawa, Shen Wei Da and Feida printing and packaging machinery brands.

With 60 primary manufacturing sites,more than 40,000 employees and 2009 revenues of US$8.6 billion, SEG is a large Chinese company with interests outside of the printing sector, including power generation and transmission, electromechanical equipment, heavy machine tools, transportation equipment, environmental protection systems and automatic instrumentation.

Goss and SEG have been working together in China since 1993.

Anna Magliocco-Chagnon, President and CEO of Bitstream Inc., signed an agreement to acquire substantianlly all assets of the struggling Israeli-based software developer Press-sense Ltd. for $6.5 million in cash and the assumption of liabilities.

A privately held company, founded in 2001 and funded over the years by several venture capital firms, Press-sense, which primarily builds software to intergrate Web-to-print and MIS technologies, has been struggling to stay afloat over the past few months.

Press-sense’s flagship iWay is a significant OEM Web-to-print product for toner-based press manufacturers like Xerox (FreeFlow), Hewlett-Packard (SmartStream) and Océ (PRISMAweb). The company claims to have an install base of over 1,500 customers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

According to a statement about the pending transaction, there is little overlap between the customer base of Bitstream, through its Pageflex product line, and Press-sense. Pageflex technology primarily deals with automating the creation, production and back-office processes for document orders.

“Our Pageflex product line leads the industry in tackling the frontend of the process – order taking and document production. Press-sense provides the most-extensive business management tools for the backend of the process… Through this asset acquisition, Bitstream becomes the only entity able to offer the full complement of solutions required by document producers,” stated Magliocco-Chagnon, in a press release.

CanWest Global Communications, operating under bankruptcy since October 2009, yesterday agreed to sell its newspapers assets for $1.1-billion to a group of bondholders led by National Post President and CEO, Paul Godfrey.

Godfrey’s bidding group holds 9.25 percent of senior subordinated notes in Canwest Limited Partnership (CLP), a publishing division controlling the newspaper assets, which is described as Canada’s largest newspaper chain (46 dailies and weeklies), including the National Post.

The court-appointed monitor of Canwest, FTI Consulting Canada, in consultation with the RBC Capital Markets, “determined that the bid by members of [Godfrey’s group] constituted a superior cash offer,” according to a company statement, yesterday. The purchase price of approximately $1.1 billion includes $950 million in cash funding. CLP owes senior secured lenders around $925 million.

Canwest is now advancing the bid for court approval on May 17, 2010, while targeting to close the deal on or before July 15, 2010.

Associated articles about the pending purchase:

Jennifer Wells, Toronto Star: CanWest deal all about local papers

Andrew Willis, The Globe: Who played CanWest right?

Jamie Sturgeon, Financial Post: Bondholders to buy Canwest newspaper chain

Susan Krashinsky, The Globe: With a salesman's touch, Paul Godfrey claims CanWest

Theresa Tedesco, Financial Post: New role a ‘great privilege’

Torstar Corporation ended weeks of speculation by announcing that it has placed a formal bid for the newspaper and digital assets of Canwest Limited Partnership. Financial details of the bid wer not disclosed.

Canwest LP, which includes the National Post, Montreal Gazette and 44 other newspapers, has been up for sale since January. The bidding deadline lapsed last Friday at midnight and it was initially unclear if Torstar submitted a bid due to questions surrounding its financial backer, Fairfax. If Torstar's bid is accepted, it will become the largest newspaper publisher in the country.

Other bidders include Black Press, which is led by President David Black, who controls a chain of 70 newspapers on the West coast, and former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper. In July 2007, Black Press lost a $405-million bid for Osprey Media to Quebecor.

Canwest has also announced the sale of its over-the-air television assets to Shaw Communications of Calgary. The deal is said to be worth over $2 billion and includes paying $700 million to Goldman Sachs for its stake, which it acquired through the purchase of Alliance Atlantis in 2007.

Pal and Robbie Dhanju, brothers and co-owners of Millenium Printing, finalized the purchase of Mississauga-based KingsWeb, which includes the prepress-focused Queenstone Services and bindery/fulfillment-focused TWS operations.

As opposed to an asset purchase, Millenium on April 29 opted to buy the entire 50,000-square-foot plant and all of its operations, because it runs a Mitsubishi-based pressroom like KingsWeb – in terms of sheetfed. The main reason for the purchase, however, was for Millenium to move into web-offset production.

“We were looking for a web [offset] machine for quite some time because there was a big need, especially for us,” says Neeraj Gupta, Millenium’s Marketing Manager. “Whenever we were doing some big runs it really used to hamper our production on the other jobs.”

Back in March 2010, KingsWeb closed its doors after 25 years of operating as a family-run commercial printer. At the time, the company had approximately 70 employees. “We are trying to catch up with some of their existing staff,” says Gupta, “because the company was off for two months and a lot of them have already been placed elsewhere.”

As a trade printer, Millenium is very tight with Toronto’s print-broker community and expects these relationships to drive a lot of work onto its 6-colour Mitsubishi web press, which is uniquely built to handle both heatset and coldset work. Millenium also runs a unique 8-colour, 40-inch sheetfed press, after purchasing a tandem-designed Mitsubishi DIAMOND 3000 about two years ago.

“It has four bottom units and four top units, so the sheet flows straight,” says Gupta, as he explains why Mitsubishi’s tandem press was chosen over a more common perfecting design. “A lot of times people have problems with marking, especially on thicker stocks when the sheet flips. With our press, there is no marking because the sheet is going straight through.”

When Millenium purchased the Mitsubishi DIAMOND 3000, Pal and Robbie Dhanju moved into a new 40,000-square-foot plant in Concord, Ontario, which highlights the company’s steady growth over the past five years. “We were basically doubling our sales with every move,” says Gupta. After founding Millenium a little over 10 years ago, in a 5,000-square-foot Woodbridge plant with a 25-inch Heidelberg, the brothers made a significant move by purchasing their first 40-inch Mitsubishi about five years ago and moving into a 12,000-square-foot, Markham-based plant.

While Millenium will remain headquartered out of the Concord plant, the company basically doubles its size again with the purchase of KingsWeb and, in particular, the full-size Mitsubishi web. “For us, it is really a feather in our cap because [a web press] was the only thing missing from our basket,” says Gupta. “We are still deciding whether to carry on with the KingsWeb name… or if [at the KingsWeb plant] we should use the Millenium name, which is a very strong brand in the trade circle.”

EFI has announced it will be acquiring Radius Solutions, a management software provider for the printing and packaging industries. The move will give EFI more offerings in its Advanced Professional Print Software division (APPS).

"We are very pleased to add Radius to our growing portfolio of industry-leading software solutions targeted to the print industry," said Marc Olin, Sr. VP/GM APPS of EFI. "EFI's goal is to offer our customers a complete product portfolio that assists them from job creation to production, while allowing them to be more efficient and effective, and ultimately, more profitable. Radius allows us to bring this concept to the packaging market, which is one of the largest segments of the print market and an area of strategic focus for EFI, joining our Pace and Monarch MIS systems which are targeted to the display graphics and commercial print markets."

Radius Solutions is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with direct operations in the United States and Europe. Radius brings many years of experience developing and deploying applications developed specifically to manage the unique needs of packaging and printing organizations. Radius has established itself as a provider of management information systems specifically designed to help flexible packaging, folding carton and label printers manage their operations.

"We are very excited to have Radius Solutions join the EFI family," said David Taylor, President and CEO of Radius Solutions. "Our ERP packaging software fits strategically within EFI's solutions portfolio. Our clients will gain a supplier with a global footprint and the additional resources of a tier one organization. I look forward to managing the Radius product line within their world class organization."

Details of the transaction were not released and the deal is still subject to various closing conditions.

Both WIFAG and manroland, yesterday, issued short statements about ending acquisition negotiations. Back in February 2010, manroland announced it was pursuing the purchase of WIFAG, a Swiss-based developer of newspaper presses and technology. WIFAG had earlier indicated its need to find a business partner.

The statements from both companies indicate, that during negotiations, it was not possible to satisfy the interests of each company through acquisition. Both companies also indicated they plan to continue cooperating on a technical level.

According to WIFAG’s statement, “Based on the findings of the last three months, WIFAG will now realize a service business model independently.” The statement concluded, “negotiations are being carried out in relation to the sale of individual processing centers in parallel to the restructuring process.”

This morning, Quad/Graphics Inc. and World Color Press Inc. announced they have cleared antitrust regulatory requirements in the United States and Canada in relation to their proposed business combination.

The pending deal was first announced back in January 2010, with Quad/Graphics’ current leader, Joel Quadracci, ready to serve as Chairman, President and CEO of the expanded company. After filing their Pre-Merger (Arrangement) Notification and Report Forms with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, the companies were required to wait until March 29, 2010, before clearance was provided.

According to a joint statement by the companies, the transaction remains subject to completion of approval under the Investment Canada Act, as well as to the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

If the acquisition is completed, it would create one of the world’s largest printing companies, employing nearly 30,000 people in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe. World Color and Quad/Graphics had aggregate, non-audited revenues of US$5.1 billion – for the 12-month period ended September 30, 2009 – and aggregate non-audited, adjusted EBITDA of US$647 million.

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