Quebecor World Acquires Hachette Filipacchi Printing Assets in Europe
Press release from the issuing company
MONTREAL--Sept. 27, 2001--Quebecor World announced today it has signed a binding agreement pending regulatory approval to purchase the European printing assets of Hachette Filipacchi Medias.
The assets include printing and bindery facilities in France and Hachette's 50% ownership of Helio Charleroi in Belgium.
Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille (CNP) will retain it's 50% ownership of the facility for the next three years.
"We continue to grow on a continental basis with assets in France, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the U.K and now Belgium. This purchase will significantly strengthen our European platform,'' said Charles G. Cavell, President and CEO of Quebecor World Inc. "As well as buying printing facilities from Hachette we are also extending our strategic partnership with them by means of long-term enabling contracts that will benefit both our businesses. These new contracts make Hachette one of our leading global magazine customers. We work with them in Europe, North America and Latin America. In addition this will continue to strengthen and support the development of our global sales initiative. This is a win-win transaction for both companies.''
Hachette Filipacchi Medias is one of the world's top publishers with 210 magazine titles in 34 countries. It is the number one magazine publisher in Europe. As part of the transaction Hachette is entering into long-term agreement with Quebecor World to print many of its magazines. The estimated value is $US400 million over the term of the contracts, excluding paper.
"This transaction is consistent with Quebecor World's historic growth strategy of buying printing assets of publisher/printers as they decide to concentrate on their core businesses,'' added Mr. Cavell. "We will continue to pursue this strategy on all three continents in which we operate.''
The plants in France and Belgium operate long-run gravure presses and print a combination of magazines, catalogs, and retail inserts. Some of the magazine titles include Paris Match, Elle, Parents, Tele 7 Jours and TV Hebdo which are two of the largest weekly magazines in France with circulations of three and two million respectively. CNP (Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille) will partner with Quebecor World for three years in the Charleroi facility. CNP is a public investment firm controlled by the Frere family of Belgium.
The purchase price also includes the acquisition of two bindery and distribution operations in the Paris region, one of which will be operated as a joint venture with Hachette. Both these facilities do finishing work for Hachette and several other publishers.
"This is a very important transaction for Quebecor World Europe,'' said Vincent Bastien, President and CEO, Quebecor World France. "The addition of the Hachette equipment to our existing platform in France will allow us to schedule Hachette magazines for multi-plant manufacturing in order to reduce delivery time. This is a key strategic alliance that will significantly improve our service to the French market and our ability to meet shareholder expectations.''
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