SG360º, a Segerdahl Co., has announced the acquisition of the direct mail printing company Lehigh Direct, a division of Visant. "The blending of Lehigh Direct and SG360º exemplifies our commitment to being the best at providing our existing and future customers the most diverse and expansive expertise in the direct marketing industry, and Lehigh’s web facility, technologies and people will further expand SG360º’s offerings," said Rick Joutras, SG360º chairman, president and CEO.

Shareholders OK Vertis Plan BALTIMORE—Vertis shareholders approved the company’s prepackaged plan of organization. Once the plan becomes effective, Vertis can proceed with its merger with American Color Graphics (ACG). The restructuring will allow Vertis to reduce debt and interest cost, refocus investments and complete both the reorganization and merger in a couple of months, according to Mike DuBose, chairman and CEO of Vertis. Direct Group Makes Investment SWEDESBORO, NJ—Direct marketing specialist Direct Group has purchased 32 Océ VarioStream 8750 systems to upgrade capacity; increase uptime, speed and operational efficiencies; and take advantage of some of the industry’s latest digital technology, including flexible color

Bruno, 94, Lithographic Pioneer CHICAGO—Mike Bruno, 94, whose research, knowledge and innovations proved to be a catalyst for the viability of lithographic printing, passed away in January. Mr. Bruno was involved with the Lithographic Technical Foundation (later the GATF) and joined International Paper in a senior capacity, where he edited the "Pocket Pal" printing educational resource. He also published a newsletter, "What New(s) in Graphic Communications," for 25 years. His autobiography, "Mike Bruno's History of Printing in the 20th Century," will be published in 2006. Quad Bolstering Hartford Plant HARTFORD, WI—Quad/Graphics is constructing a 161,416-square-foot addition to its plant here, a move that will provide 1.5 million

ST. LOUIS—Von Hoffmann Corp. announced it was integrating its two-plant facility Precision Offset Printing into Lehigh Lithographers, of Pennsauken, NJ, in a move to reduce costs and consolidate its services for customers of materials printed on plastics and other synthetic substrates. Precision Offset, which employs about 110 people at its Leesport, PA, and Dauberville, PA, facilities, is a leading manufacturer of plastic products, including overhead transparencies and plastic inserts for educational textbooks. Von Hoffmann will incur a pre-tax charge between $4 million and $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2004 to cover severance payments, relocation costs and the write-down of certain fixed assets that

ST. LOUIS—The Von Hoffmann Corp. has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire the Lehigh Press for approximately $110 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. Founded in 1924, the Lehigh Press is a highly specialized component printer with market leadership positions in both book covers and direct marketing materials. Lehigh's operating platform includes Pennsauken, NJ-based Lehigh Lithographers, which provides component printing and digital premedia services, and Broadview, IL-based Lehigh Direct, which provides advanced direct marketing services. Lehigh employs approximately 450 people. In 2002, privately held Lehigh Press reported net sales of nearly $120 million, excluding its Puerto Rico affiliate. The company anticipates that its total

HIGHLAND PARK, IL—In corporate America, the word "partnership" between suppliers and customers often gets more lip service than actual practitioners—let alone in the often cutthroat, price-sensitive printing industry. But the Lehigh Press showed its appreciation recently to nearly 300 industry vendors, business friends and facilitators at an elegant Supplier Appreciation Gala Reception held outdoors here amidst the backdrop of the Exmoor Country Club along Chicago's upscale North Shore. "Tonight is really a gratifying celebration of success and our opportunity to express appreciation to a very important gathering of Lehigh stakeholders: our tremendous supplier community spanning equipment, technology, materials, supplies and, of course, lenders

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