Robert Mathews

By Erik Cagle Senior Editor The book printing industry in America cannot live on Harry Potter's whimsy and Oprah Winfrey's blessings to survive in an environment that's losing share to overseas competition. Hit titles such as the J.K. Rowling line of Potter tomes, and the popularity heft that the afternoon talk show queen can put behind a new or backlisted work, can create a stir in both the publishing and printing industries. What the leading book manufacturers from our Printing Impressions 400 are looking for is consistency from the educational market. Top 10 Book Printers  CompanySegmentSales(millions)TotalSales(millions) 1Quebecor WorldMontreal$704$6,400 2RR DonnelleyChicago$656$8,204 3Banta

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

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