Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two Big Printers Expected to Merge

Privately held Quad/Graphics Inc. of the U.S. is expected to acquire Canadian rival World Color Press Inc. for roughly $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion, said people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would create North America's second-largest commercial printer by sales, behind industry giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

Under the plan, these people said, shareholders of Toronto-listed World Color, which prints such magazines as Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone, as well as the Crate & Barrel catalog and Yellow Book directory, would get a 40% stake in the newly combined company. The new company would then list on a U.S. stock exchange, they said, in effect bringing Quad/Graphics, whose clients include Newsweek, GQ and the L.L. Bean catalog, to the public market for the first time since its founding in 1971.

Quad/Graphics, based in Sussex, Wis., has 11,500 employees and 11 plants, most of them in the U.S. Its annual sales are around $2 billion. Montreal-based World Color, with a market capitalization of around $730 million, has about 18,000 employees and annual sales of around $3 billion, with about 30% of that coming from Canada and Latin America.

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