Courier Opts to Shutter Book Plant

NORTH CHELMSFORD, MA—After mulling its fate for the better part of a month, book manufacturer and specialty publisher Courier Corp. has decided to close the company’s manufacturing plant in Stoughton, MA, on April 30, due to competitive pressures and technology shifts affecting the one-color paperback books in which the plant specializes.

Courier Chairman and CEO James Conway said that, after due deliberation, it was decided that closing Stoughton was the only available solution to bring one-color capacity in line with the economy.

The Stoughton plant currently employs 110 people. It is the smallest and least versatile of Courier’s six manufacturing facilities, and has seen its volume decline in recent years as customers have increasingly turned to four-color production, shorter print runs and more efficient short-run alternatives such as digital printing, in which the company has invested heavily in the last year.

In connection with the closing, Courier estimates pre-tax restructuring costs of approximately $6 million for severance, pension withdrawal liabilities and other expenses. In addition, the facility’s lease obligates Courier to pay an aggregate of $2.7 million through 2015, although the company is pursuing options to reduce those costs. Overall, Courier expects the cash impact of the closing to be approximately $3 million over the remainder of fiscal 2011, with the majority of the remaining cash impact spread across five to 20 years.

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