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UPFRONT

May 2005
Pair Plead Guilty to Mail Fraud

CHESTERFIELD, MO—A printing broker and a manager for a printing company each pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to a kickback scheme, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Aristotle Kumpis pled guilty to two felony counts of mail fraud and Louis Drago pled guilty to one count of mail fraud. Each reportedly faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine per count, with mandatory restitution. A third participant in the kickback scheme, Elizabeth Richard, is awaiting sentencing on related charges.

Kodak Names Leadership Team

ROCHESTER, NY—Kodak's Graphic Communications Group (GCG) has announced its senior leadership team for the Graphic Solutions & Services unit. Jeff Jacobson is president of the unit. Creo President Judi Hess will be appointed general manager and vice president, Workflow & Prepress, following the completion of the acquisition of Creo sometime this summer. Venkat Purushotham has been named general manager and vice president, Digital Printing. Doug Edwards was named general manager and vice president, Consumables, while Andrew Copley was appointed managing director and vice president, Global Sales and Operations.

Harland Co. to Acquire Liberty

ATLANTA—John H. Harland Co. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire check printing specialist Liberty Enterprises, based in Mounds View, MN, in a cash for stock deal valued at around $160 million. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in late May or early June.

Curtis 1000 Closing Iowa Plant

MASON CITY, IA—Printer Curtis 1000 is closing its specialty products plant here toward the end of this month, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported. The closing of the plant, which has been in operation since 1972, will leave 39 jobless. Pi Cobert, corporate human resources manager for the Duluth, GA-based company, told the paper that work will be consolidated into other Curtis 1000 operations. Counting Mason City, the company has eight facilities in six states.

Transcontinental Lands Contract

MONTREAL—Transcontinental has signed a 10-year contract to print The New York Times beginning this fall. Transcontinental will produce 15,000 to 20,000 copies per day from Monday through Saturday and 30,000 to 35,000 on Sunday at its Interweb Toronto facility for the Ontario market, as well as the Buffalo and Rochester, NY, regions.

Paper Gets New Facility, Press

BATON ROUGE, LA—The Baton Rouge Advocate is making a MAN Roland Regioman web offset press the centerpiece of its new $40 million, 120,000-square-foot production facility that will be constructed later this year. The newspaper is making the switch from letterpress printing to the 4x1, digitally controlled web offset system.

Creo Shareholders OK Deal

VANCOUVER, BC—An overwhelming majority of Creo shareholders gave their blessing in late March for the company's pending acquisition by Eastman Kodak. Out of more than 33 million votes cast by shareholders, a resounding 99.8 percent voted in favor of the resolution. Another 97.8 percent voted in favor of waiving application of the shareholder rights plan. Pending final regulatory approvals, Kodak will pay $16.50 per share of Creo stock for a total of $980 million. The transaction is slated to be completed this summer.

Big Installation at Canadian Firm

WINDSOR, ON—Graphic design, Internet printing and service specialist VistaPrint will install a pair of MAN Roland presses at its new facility here, just south of Detroit. In all, VistaPrint ordered four 41˝ Roland 700 presses. The company currently operates two Roland 700 presses with in-line coating and perfecting capabilities at its production facility in Venlo, The Netherlands.

Ex-Color Arts Workers Cut Deal

RACINE, WI—A total of 215 former Color Arts employees received checks from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) in a settlement of wage claims and plant closing violations by a former owner, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. More than $1 million, or about $4,775 per employee, was dispersed to those employees who chose to accept the settlement offer stemming from last June's unannounced plant closing here.

Quebecor World Closing Plant

MONTREAL—Pricing pressures from low-cost, independent competitors has forced Quebecor World to close down its Laval, Quebec, facility in a reorganization plan. About 50 employees will be transferred to other plants in the Quebecor World chain and 150 positions will be eliminated. Prepress and sales efforts there will also be consolidated into the 10 company facilities in the province.

PRINT 05 Online Registration Open

RESTON, VA—The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) announced that online registration is now available for PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05, which will be held September 9-15 at the McCormick Place complex in Chicago. The show is recognized as the largest printing equipment and related technologies expo held in the world this year. For more information and registration, visit www.PRINT05.com.

Danzig Addresses Conference

NAPLES, FL—Hearst Newspapers CEO Bob Danzig, whose company printed 390 million magazines in 2004, related his thoughts on developing leadership and steering a business to greater heights during the 2005 PIA/GATF Presidents Conference and BIA Conference, held here recently. Addressing a crowd of 274 industry executives, Danzig pointed out that printers face the same challenges as any other business, namely using innovation, creativity and insight to better serve customers and drive future success.
 

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