Lucas Out at Reeling Quebecor World
MONTREAL—Only days after confirming the sale of its European assets had failed, Quebecor World anounced Wes Lucas had stepped aside as president and CEO of the troubled company.
Lucas is being replaced by Jacques Mallete, who previously served as executive vice president and CFO. Quebecor World would only say that Lucas was leaving the company to pursue other opportunities in the United States.
The year is definitely ending on a sour note for Quebecor World. Shareholders of Netherlands-based RSDB NV voted down the proposed C$341 million purchase of Quebecor World’s European printing business, leaving North America’s second-largest printer in precarious financial straits.
Financial analysts lowered their expectations of Quebecor World as its stock slipped to $1.32 on the New York Stock Exchange before rebounding to the $1.90 range last Friday afternoon.
Adam Shine, an analyst for National Bank Financial, said in a report that, while a sale of the company remains the most logical solution, Quebecor World probably needs to resolve some of its credit issues first.
“There continues to be a growing possibility that Quebecor World could end up declaring bankruptcy,” the Canadian Press reported Shine as saying.
In a release, Quebecor World said it will continue to actively explore its strategic options for its European operations, including consolidation opportunities and other initiatives to enhance value.
The company said it is evaluating and implementing “a variety of options that should compensate for the sale proceeds that will no longer be realized as a result of this transaction not proceeding, including the implementation of new accounts receivable financing programs in Europe.”
Quebecor World will continue to explore and evaluate financing and other alternatives to further strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity.