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Transcontinental Launches a Takeover Bid for All Optipress Shares

Press release from the issuing company

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--Transcontinental Inc. today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary 4054920 Canada Inc. has launched a cash takeover bid for all of the outstanding common shares of the Atlantic provinces-based Optipress Inc. at a price per share of C$8.00. This takeover bid is made pursuant to the support agreement between Transcontinental and Optipress announced on November 27, 2003. The takeover bid expires at 11:59 p.m., Montreal time, on January 15, 2004, unless it is withdrawn or extended by the Offeror in accordance with the terms of the takeover bid. Optipress shareholders were sent the takeover bid circular, the directors' circular and certain related documents today. These documents will be available at the Canadian Securities Administrators' website at www.sedar.com, and may be obtained from the Dealer Manager or the Depositary for the takeover bid, as set forth in the documents. Optipress owns 25 weekly and bi-weekly papers as well as 9 printing plants and a network of digital reproduction centres in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. It reports annual revenues of about C$75 million, 76% from printing operations and 24% from publishing, and has more than 600 employees. Optipress is a public company whose shares have been listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol OPP since July 25, 2002, following the combination of the printing and publishing assets of Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited and Cameron Publications Limited.