PI 400 – – Year in Review – A Year We’ll All Remember

On the other hand, our nation banded together to pick up the pieces of shattered buildings, lives and careers. People gave at the office and at home: money, blood, foodstuffs. A national telethon raked in millions and, as of mid-October, the total tally of funds raised to support the efforts to aid those affected by the events of September 11 surpassed $1 billion.

And while the economy continued to reel in the aftermath of September 11, with major print players announcing massive layoffs and plant closings, an underlying feeling in many of us underscored the notion that this country didn’t get where it is today simply on its looks. Without a doubt, 2001 was both a forgettable year and a year that won’t soon be forgotten—but the test of time will yield a nation stronger than ever before.

The highlights of 2001, from the commercial printing perspective:

In December of 2000, Weyerhaeuser began its year-long courtship of fellow paper giant Willamette, that eventually evolved into an attempted shotgun wedding. A hostile bid attempt was launched by Weyerhaeuser and, by the middle of the year, its greatest success was in landing three representatives on Willamette’s board of directors. As 2001 drew to a close, there were indications that Willamette was easing the grip on its “not if you were the last paper company on earth” mentality toward Weyerhaeuser. The magic number may be $57 per share.

Mead and Westvaco beat Weyerhaeuser and Willamette to the M&A punch, however, with their August 29 merger. The company will now be called MeadWestvaco.

Master Graphics, formerly of Memphis, TN, entered Chapter 11 reorganizational bankruptcy, then emerged shortly thereafter with a new game plan. The company now also dons a new name, Premier Print Holdings, and a new headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

Expansion plans came from Quad/Graphics, Pewaukee, WI, which announced a new facility to go live in the spring of 2002, while Edge Graphics, of Milford, OH, opened a new facility and added equipment. Moore Corp., of Toronto, on the other hand, announced it was cutting $100 million in a cost-savings initiative. The 12- to 18-month plan results in a 10 percent loss of the company’s work force.

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