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Year In Review : 2011 - Year of the Felony

December 2011 By Erik Cagle
Senior editor
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Vertis Inc. completed a refinancing plan through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The recapitalization was expected to strengthen the Baltimore-based firm’s capital structure by reducing its total debt by about 60 percent.

Quad/Graphics announced it was closing a direct mail facility in Fredericksburg, VA, eliminating 300 employees, while shedding another 400 employees from its Mt. Morris, IL, plant, which was subsequently closed. A smaller downsize, at its Depew, NY, location, led to 95 layoffs. Quad/Graphics later divulged that it was halting production at its Richmond, VA, and Stillwater, OK, plants, impacting 365 positions.

Cenveo Inc., of Stamford, CT, made a pair of moves, buying the Envelope Products Group from MeadWestvaco, and Impaxx, owner of Gilbreth Packaging Solutions in Croydon, PA. Meanwhile, Walsworth Publishing, Marceline, MO, struck a deal to acquire IPC Print Services of St. Joseph, MI. The yearbook specialist also invested $3 million in new printing equipment.

Houston-based Consolidated Graphics (CGX) got into the act by swinging a deal for The Jackson Group, with two facilities in Indianapolis. CGX then named Patsy Koepke to the position of president of the Midwestern firm.

Classic Graphics, of Charlotte, NC, pulled off a deal, acquiring Belk Printing Technologies. The deal reportedly created the largest printing company in the Carolinas.

RR Donnelley of Chicago decided to close its plant in Greeley, CO, resulting in 177 lost jobs. The plant specialized in printed directories.

Book manufacturer Courier Corp., North Chelmsford, MA, opted to close its Stoughton, MA, facility. The firm cited technology shifts and competitive pressures behind the closure of the one-color paperback book specialist.

Quad/Graphics plunked down $15 million to augment its book manufacturing platform in Martinsburg, WV. The printer also beefed up its plants in Leominster, MA; Fairfield, PA; and Dubuque, IA.

The summer heated up with one of the industry’s biggest deals in 2011. In an actual trade of facilities, Quad/Graphics acquired Transcontinental’s Mexican operations. In return, Montreal-based Transcontinental reaped Quad’s Canadian operations (except for the Vancouver, BC, facility). Quad also received a portion of Transcon’s Canadian book printing operation.

The summer saw a flurry of activity: Philadelphia printers Smith-Edwards-Dunlap and Graphic Arts Inc. merged, as did New York’s Peeq Media and
Toppan America (creating Toppax). CGX also added RT Associates of Chicago.

Padgett Printing, a force in the Dallas commercial market for more than 100 years, decided to close its doors. It was a victim of a liquidity crisis.

The Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame welcomed four new inductees: Ken Kaufman of Corporate Press in Lanham, MD; Mike Panaggio of DME in Daytona Beach, FL; David Pitts of Classic Graphics and Joel Quadracci of Quad/Graphics.

Command Web Offset,
Secaucus, NJ, announced it was closing its doors in November, leaving 105 employees without work. Continued inroads made by electronic books and digital publishing competition were the chief reasons behind the closure of the 40-year-old book printer.

RR Donnelley made a deal for Genesis Packaging & Design of Lemont, IL, while Las Vegas-based Creel Printing acquired Digital Lizard.

The parent company of NewPage Corp. filed for Chapter 11 reorganizational bankruptcy. The move was done to facilitate an orderly debt restructuring.

Finally, Philadelphia-based The Phoenix Group opened a new Midwest facility, fortified by the assets purchase of All Out Print Communications. Former All Out executives James and J.B. Capuano joined the newly christened Phoenix-Veterans Print.

The news might not have been predominantly positive in 2011, but there was certainly enough spice to keep the reader’s attention. With the industry continuing to evolve, in ways both good and bad, we can probably expect to see more of the same in 2012. PI


 
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