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Quebecor World Shakes M&A Slumber

August 2001
MONTREAL—Roughly 18 months after it shocked the commercial printing industry by announcing it had merged with World Color, the world's largest printer returned to the merger and acquisition landscape with a vengeance.

Quebecor World announced that it has acquired Retail Printing, a large, privately held, East Coast printer. Quebecor World has inked a definitive agreement to purchase the Taunton, MA-based printer of retail inserts that was scheduled to be completed in July. Retail Printing, which also operates a plant in Nashville, TN, and employs 400 total, boasts annual sales of nearly $100 million.

The move augments Quebecor World's ability to provide both long-run and multi-versioning printing services to retail and newspaper insert customers in North America.

"We are continuing to assess potential investments in all three continents where we operate," states Charles G. Cavell, president and CEO of Quebecor World. "The mix of products and geographic location of the Retail Printing plant fits into our strategy of developing the strongest and most flexible retail platform in the industry. This transaction is also in line with our ongoing practice of strategic acquisitions that are accretive to earnings."

Marc Reisch, chairman, president and CEO of Quebecor World North America, feels Retail Printing is a nice addition to the force. "This acquisition on the East Coast and our capital expansion out west extends our retail platform, allowing us to offer national and local marketers the advantages of our long-run gravure capability, complemented by the flexibility of our offset network," he says.

Quebecor World is expanding its retail platform on the West Coast, a move that will include the purchase of a new Goss C700E press for its Merced, CA, facility. The company is also exploring other avenues for expansion in the west.

Doug Small, senior vice president of Retail Printing, is excited about the company joining Quebecor World's organization. "The personal growth opportunities that this transaction brings to our employees are enormous," he says. "Our family has worked hard over the years to build a customer- and employee-focused company, and we are happy to have Quebecor World help us get to the next level."

Gregg Feinstein, managing director and COO of Berenson Minella & Company, which acted as financial advisor to Retail Printing in connection with the sale, believes the transaction was attractive for both parties and that the companies are an optimal strategic fit. "I think the market is going back to where it was before 1996, when mergers and acquisitions had a strong strategic rationale," he says. "Larger deals are still getting done at attractive valuation levels."
 

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