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Transcontinental Acquires Three Printing Plants From Gesca

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--Gesca Ltd. and Transcontinental Group announced today the signing of agreements involving the sale of three commercial printing plants and the printing of three daily newspapers. Under the terms of the transaction, Gesca sells to Transcontinental the Imprimerie Canada plant in Beauport, Qualimax in Gatineau (Hull), and TR Offset in Trois-Rivieres. Those plants are responsible for printing Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil, Ottawa's Le Droit and Trois-Rivieres' Le Nouvelliste respectively, all three of them Gesca publications. In conjunction with this sale, Gesca also announced the signing of long-term agreements with Transcontinental to print the newspapers Le Soleil, Le Nouvelliste and Le Droit for a period of 15 years. The agreements will generate annual revenues for Transcontinental of roughly $50 million over the next 15 years. Gesca will retain possession of the facilities at which the Sherbrooke newspaper La Tribune and Granby's La Voix de l'Est are printed, as well as Chicoutimi's Le Quotidien and Progres-Dimanche. This transaction is subject to a due diligence process and is conditional upon regulatory approval. Last week, La Presse announced the implementation of an agreement to outsource printing of the newspaper La Presse to Transcontinental Group for an initial term of 15 years. "The decision to sell these printing plants is a reflection of Gesca's willingness to concentrate all its energies on the production of diversified high-quality content for all of its newspapers,'' said Guy Crevier, President of Gesca. "Transcontinental is one ofCanada's leading commercial printers. Our partnership with Transcontinental fits in perfectly with Gesca's strategy of producing newspapers of continually improving quality.'' For his part, Remi Marcoux, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Transcontinental Group, stated: "This transaction is a logical next step in the partnership we've developed with Gesca, which now becomes one of our most prominent clients. At the same time, we're strengthening our position as the top independent printer of newspapers in Canada by adding three printing plants to our present network of six, which reaches across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver. Also significant is the fact that sixty percent of our printing revenues today enjoy the security of similar long-term agreements.'' One of the most important commercial printers in North America, Transcontinental Group is also Canada's leading publisher of consumer magazines and one of the country's top two publishers of regional press. The corporation is also engaged in interactive marketing, Internet solutions and the door-to-door distribution of advertising material. Through this fully integrated network, Transcontinental provides its customers total service. The corporation has over 10,500 employees in Canada, the United States and Mexico and posted revenues of $1.8 billion in 2001. Transcontinental Group shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols GRT.A and GRT.B.