QUAD/GRAPHICS BUYS WORLD COLOR

Printer Quad/Graphics in Late January Acquired rival World Color Press. The deal will create North America’s second-largest commercial catalog printer by sales; R.R. Donnelley is the largest.

Privately held Quad/Graphics will register Class A common shares and list on a leading U.S. exchange, thereby becoming a public company for the first time since its founding in 1971. Quad/Graphics shareholders will continue to own Class A, Class B and Class C common shares and own about 60% of the combined company. World Color Press shareholders will receive Class A common shares for about 40% equity.

Formerly known as Quebecor World, World Color Press emerged from bankruptcy protection last July.

Quad/Graphics CEO Joel Quadracci will head the expanded company as chairman, while World Color Press CEO Mark Angelson will join the Quad/Graphics board and chair a committee on integration and consolidation. Angelson is former CEO of R.R. Donnelley. Quad/Graphics will now have nearly 30,000 employees.

World Color Press and Quad/Graphics recorded aggregate unaudited revenue for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30 of $5.1 billion and aggregate unaudited adjusted EBITDA of $647 million.

Quad/Graphics’ management estimates that the new company will generate approximately $225 million in pretax net annualized synergies within 24 months.

What does the acquisition mean for catalogers? It’s probably not a good thing, says Dan Walsh, vice president of catalog/publication papers at distributor Bradner Smith & Co., because “it further reduces competition for print, which usually leads to higher prices.”

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