2002 Year in Review — Silver Lining Still Tarnished

Speaking of buying back businesses, the employees of Appleton Papers, Appleton, WI, plunked down $810 million to wrest ownership from parent company Arjo Wiggins Appleton.

Nezar “Mike” Maad, owner of the former Frontier Printing Services in Anchorage, AK, was sentenced to six months in federal prison after being found guilty of two counts of falsifying loan applications, one count of wire fraud and two counts of making false statements to the government. The Syrian-born Maad reported that his print shop had been vandalized—presses and related equipment were destroyed, with the words, “We hate Arabs” spray painted on the shop’s wall. During the FBI investigation, it was learned Maad had falsified loan documents and lied to the government to obtain small business loans.

The acrimonious 14-month tug of war between Willamette Industries, Portland, OR, and Weyerhaeuser, Federal Way, WA, ended civilly when the paper giants agreed to merge. Weyerhaeuser paid $6.1 billion in cash and assumed $1.7 billion of Willamette debt.

Moore Corp. broke into the transaction column by swallowing up The Nielsen Co., a $90 million printer with facilities in Cincinnati, Florence, KY, and Durham, NC. But Danner Press, Canton, OH, closed its doors on 350 employees after more than 50 years of service.

M&A guru Chris Colville returned to Houston-based Consolidated Graphics, which celebrated by acquiring American Lithographers and Carqueville Graphics.

The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) was the recipient of a four-unit Rotoman shaftless heatset web offset press from MAN Roland, boasting a bevy of added features supplied by numerous auxiliary manufacturers.

On the association beat, the announcement came that Gregg Van Wert was leaving his post as president and CEO of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) effective at the end of 2002. Joseph P. Truncale is slated to be named president on January 1, 2003.

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