2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — BUILDING A DYNASTY
Working for a large corporation in Montreal, Marcoux found his initial choice unexciting and opted to enroll at the University of Montreal. He graduated in 1968 as the Canadian equivalent of a CPA and landed a job with the auditing firm of Deloitte & Touche (now KPMG). One of the Deloitte’s clients was a $30 million printing company called Quebecor.
“It was a lot smaller in those days, and they did mostly commercial printing,” Marcoux recalls.
Marcoux soon joined the Quebecor fold and quickly moved up the ranks. He was named COO in early 1971, a position he held until 1975. As the head of operations, Marcoux had the opportunity to help develop Quebecor’s overall strategy, which entailed working on acquisitions. Along the way, he learned what to look for in an ideal fit.
“The first thing I look at is the culture of the company we’re looking to buy,” says Marcoux, who’s engineered some 100 deals over his career. “If there’s too much of a gap between the two, we won’t make a deal because it would be too difficult to integrate. It’s easy to buy machines for a company, but to change the culture of that business is very difficult.
“The first 100 days after an acquisition are highly important. You have to be a good teacher right from the beginning.”
In late 1975, Marcoux saw an opportunity to take the helm of his own printing company. A firm called Imprimerie Trans-Continental, located in the Montreal suburb of St-Laurent, found itself in dire straits following the death of its owner and was not performing well financially. So he teamed with partners André Kingsley and Claude Dubois to obtain and reopen the company.
The plant re-emerged as a specialized flyer printer—the first to introduce four-color flyers to the Quebec market—and posted $3 million in sales its first year. The company grew steadily, opening a plant in Toronto in 1981, followed by Calgary and Vancouver. Its flyer focus evolved during the past 20 years into general commercial printing, book printing, direct mail and newspapers. A network of plants focus on the retail market.
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