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Transcontinental Announces Second Major Investment in Atlantic Canada

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--Transcontinental announced today its plans to invest $4.8 million in the expansion of its Web Atlantic printing facilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The plant will be enlarged from 28,000 to 60,000 square feet to accommodate the printing of The Halifax Daily News, The Daily News (Truro), The Evening News (New Glasgow) and their related titles, currently handled in-house on the newspapers' premises, beginning in May 2003. This major investment will solidify Transcontinental's position as the leading printer and publisher of newspapers in the Atlantic Provinces and open the door for further development of this important market. The HalifaxDaily News, The Daily News and The Evening News were all acquired by Transcontinental from CanWest last August. Andre Prefontaine, President of Transcontinental Media, and Francois Olivier, Senior Vice President of the Newspaper Group, Transcontinental Printing, met with employees of the newspapers today to make the announcement. "Transcontinental's strategy is to become a leader in the niches and markets in which it operates," said Mr. Prefontaine to employees. "When we acquired the publishing and printing assets from CanWest, we did so with the intention of developing and improving those assets. The investment we are announcing today represents an important step in that direction. Transferring the printing operations of these three newspapers and their related titles to our Web Atlantic facilities will allow us to offer our readers and advertisers world-class newspapers in terms of reproduction quality, use of colour, efficiency and flexibility." Francois Olivier added: "This investment is part of our strategy of strengthening Transcontinental's position as the leading newspaper printer in Canada, a niche that we have identified as key to the company's growth. The move is also in line with Transcontinental's conviction that the outsourcing of printing activities allows newspaper publishers to concentrate on what they do best - produce quality content. Employees responsible for the printing of these newspapers will benefit from an improved work environment as well as the considerable expertise of the staff at Web Atlantic, experienced printers that have been producing the print-award-winning The Globe and Mail since 1982." This investment in Atlantic Canada is the second to be announced by Transcontinental in as many weeks. During the week of October 7, management announced its plans to build a brand new $4 million, 28,000 square foot printing plant in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island. Located between Charlottetown and Summerside, the new plant will house Williams and Crue, as well as the printing operations currently handled internally at The Journal-Pioneer in Summerside and at The Guardian in Charlottetown, a printer and two dailies also acquired by Transcontinental from CanWest last summer.