LSC Communications to Close Spartanburg, S.C., Printing Plant, Impacting Over 400 Workers
One of the main tenets of buying and owning real estate is location, location, location. The same can be said for the location where skilled workers live when they lose their jobs, and what new opportunities may exist for them within their local communities. Sadly, several large printing companies that close are located in rural areas, where job prospects are sparse and where it devastates the small-town ecosystems that count on good-paying jobs and corporate tax dollars.
So, while it's certainly bad news that on Feb. 18, 2021, LSC Communications will close its eastside Spartanburg, S.C., printing plant located at 300 Jones Rd., the job prospects — albeit in different industries— for the more than 400 workers employed at the one-time RR Donnelley operation appear, at least on the surface, to be better than what's happened elsewhere.
Announcement Coincided with Acquisition of LSC
Warrenville, Ill.-based LSC Communications filed a WARN Act notice, a federal mandate that requires large employers to give two months' notice before a planned facility closure or major layoff, with the U.S. Department of Labor and S.C. Department of Employment Workforce.
"We notified the employees in December about this difficult decision to cease operations at our printing facility in Spartanburg and transition much of that work to other locations," LSC spokesperson Rajeev Balakrishna said in a statement. "This decision was made after careful analysis of the marketplace, competitive conditions, our customers' needs, and our open capacity. We are working to assist our impacted colleagues as they transition to new opportunities."
That WARN notice was filed in early December 2020, shortly after then-publicly held LSC, which was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with $972 million of debt, was acquired by Atlas Holdings, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Ct. First announced on Sept. 15, 2020, Atlas acquired LSC — the largest U.S. book manufacturer, and major printer and distributor of magazines, catalogs, and office products — and took the company private.
When Quad's planned $1.4 billion, all-stock acquisition of LSC was called off in July 2019 as the result of an antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, LSC went into a tailspin and launched a cost-cutting plan to close multiple manufacturing plants.
Among them: In late 2019, LSC closed its bible printing plant in northeast Philadelphia. Last January, LSC announced plans to close its catalog and publication plants in Strasburg, Va., Glasgow, Ky., and Mattoon, Ill, by July. In October 2020, LSC shuttered its Kendallville, Ind., book manufacturing plant.
The former R.R. Donnelley plant in Spartanburg was among more than 50 facilities that became part of LSC Communications in 2016, when RR Donnelley split into three separate, publicly held companies. The move was partly driven by the hopes to extract what company executives perceived would be greater shareholder value and higher stock prices on Wall Street. But it didn't play out that way.