Quad plans to sell $200M book business

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Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. plans to sell its U.S. book business as part of its Quad 3.0 transformation strategy.

The book business, acquired in 2010 as part of the World Color transaction, generates around $200 million in sales annually. It has facilities in Versailles, Kentucky, Fairfield, Pennsylvania and Martinsburg, West Virginia with around 1,350 full- and part-time employees.

“Over the years, we have made significant investments in our book platform and, today, have best-in-class capabilities backed by highly skilled employees who are committed to providing excellent customer service,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Quad. “We are selling the business to ensure continued capacity for our clients and sustainable employment for our employees, and an ongoing presence in the communities where the book plants are located.”

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Quadracci said the decision makes sense as part of the company’s transformation strategy, which focuses on going beyond being a printer to become an integrated marketing solutions platform that also provides customers with analytics, campaign strategies, media organization and global production.

“We are making bold decisions to accelerate our transformation through investments in our business that will drive long-term growth and shareholder value, and provide us with the ability to take advantage of opportunities in the rapidly changing print industry,” Quadracci said.

The sale process is currently ongoing and the company is in discussions with buyers. Quad did not put an exact timeline on when a deal could be done, but said it would like to “complete the sale as soon as possible” to avoid uncertainty for clients, employees and communities.

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Quad has two printing facilities in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Only the Baker Road plant would be included in the books sale. The also would not include the company’s book manufacturing operations in Latin America.

The potential sale of the books business comes after Quad divested its industrial wood crating business, Transpak, which is based in Franklin. It also follows the company’s attempt at a $1.4 billion acquisition of rival LSC Communications. That deal ran into regulatory roadblocks and was challenged in court. The two companies walked away from the deal before a final ruling was made.


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