Heidelberg Linoprint CV Doubles Targets for the Year Press Purchases

 The overwhelming success of Heidelberg’s expanded and expanding digital portfolio includes the recent sale of its 600th Linoprint digital press. More than 150 of those orders are for its 90 ppm Linoprint CV digital printing system (worldwide through Q3 2015), doubling sales targets for the year. In the United States alone, users are discovering new applications and business opportunities based on the Linoprint CV’s outstanding five-color flexibility, consistent print quality, and exceptional cost efficiency.

A Linoprint CV is helping Mount Royal Printing and Communications in Baltimore, Maryland, produce high-quality, short-run, quick-turn color. According to Gary Cayce, president and owner, the substrate gamut (up to 16-point) and 27” sheet size of the new digital press lend the company extra flexibility in the production of brochures and marketing pieces for its educational, nonprofit and association clientele. “The Linoprint CV accommodates a larger, thicker sheet, and the clear coating capability gives our printed pieces a good-looking surface finish,” Cayce said. The company uses the new machine primarily for deadline-sensitive, short-run static color jobs, as well as for a limited quantity of variable data work.

When Rick’s Printing, a trade printer based in Portland, Oregon, installed a Linoprint CV five-color with in-line bookletmaker to replace an older, slower machine from another manufacturer, Rick’s Printing became an all-Heidelberg shop on both the digital and the offset sides. “We like having to make just one call,” said Rick Jacobs, president. According to Jacobs, the Linoprint CV’s 13×27” sheet size and “tremendous” substrate flexibility means the company can provide customers with a variety of ultra short-run jobs—including those using heavier stocks—faster and less expensively than it could using the company’s 29” Speedmaster CD 74, Printmaster PM 52 or QM 46, which are reserved for longer runs. The company can use the Linoprint’s fifth printing unit to apply opaque white or clear, high-gloss, full-area or spot coating to achieve attractive surface effects.

Short-run orders no longer upset the production process since the arrival of Linoprint CV at the printing facility serving the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “We were getting a lot of requests for short-run color printing, which our full-service copy center was hesitant to take on,” said Printing Services Supervisor Rob Hartert. “Often, our Speedmaster SM 74 would be backed up with a long-run job when one or more short-run, quick-turn orders came in, disrupting our one-shift schedule.” Since the Linoprint was installed in June, Hartert continued, “We’ve become more efficient, flexible and productive. Now we simply pull our short-run work off the SM 74 and put it on the digital press and that’s that. Once fully trained we can color-match the output of the Linoprint CV to our SM 74.” Like Rick’s Printing, the shop enjoys the availability of the clear toner coating, and makes consistent use of that option on the Linoprint CV.

The Linoprint CV Digital Printing System
With a printing speed of 90 ppm, the Linoprint CV can print with five colors, making it unique in its market segment. Besides the four primary colors, the system offers both a high-opacity white and a high-gloss full-area or spot coating. Because switching between them is simple, both surface finishing techniques can be used with flexibility.

Thanks to its innovative laser technology and color toner that achieves a sharp, uniform result, due to ultra-fine particles, the Linoprint CV also delivers razor-sharp, high-resolution images. Additional features include a generous color gamut and a low melting point that makes it possible to print on all kinds of materials, including heat-sensitive plastics, with quality close to that of offset due to Heidelberg’s industry leading ability to color match across all platforms.

The multiple paper supplies in the system can be refilled on the fly, which keeps makeready times short. Several high-capacity supplies, which operate with robust vacuum/suction-tape feeders, ensure a continuous supply of paper without the operator having to constantly monitor the press. The system can also process long runs in a single pass without interruption. An enlarged operating cockpit further enhances ease-of-use by helping the operator maintain a clear overview of every print job.

Heidelberg USA plans to launch its Prinect Digital Front End (DFE) controller and workflow software for its Linoprint CV and Linoprint CP this month

Gannett Announces Plans to Acquire Journal Media Group for $280 Million

Gannett Co. and Journal Media Group have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Gannett will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Journal Media Group for approximately $280 million, net of acquired cash.

Under the terms of the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to Journal Media Group shareholder approval, Journal Media Group shareholders will receive cash of $12 per share in cash. Based on the closing price of Journal Media Group on Oct. 7, 2015, this represents a premium of 44.6 percent. Gannett will finance the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and borrowings under Gannett’s $500 million revolving credit facility.

Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett said, “The publications of both Gannett and Journal Media Group have a rich history, a commitment to journalism, and a dedication to informing and being active members in the communities we serve. Our merger will combine the best of each of our organizations to create a journalism-led, investor-focused company which will provide substantial value to the shareholders of both companies. This transaction is an excellent first step in the industry consolidation strategy we have communicated to our shareholders and is a good example of the value-creating opportunities we believe are available.”

He added, “We would also like to welcome the outstanding leadership, journalists, sales staff and other employees of Journal Media Group to the Gannett family. Our combined company will be an industry leader, dedicated to the local communities we serve, committed to generating value for shareholders and empowering communities to connect, act and thrive.”

Tim Stautberg, president and CEO of Journal Media Group, stated, “This transaction marks a critical next step in the transformation of our industry as we build local media brands that matter at a time when operational scale is a competitive advantage.” He continued, “Both Journal Media Group and Gannett are guided by a vision of strengthening lives and communities, and we’ll be better stewards in our local markets by sharing ideas, content and best practices among our new and larger family.”

The combination of Journal Media Group and Gannett will create a portfolio of 106 local markets in the United States and will result in a combined digital audience of more than 100 million unique domestic visitors a month. The acquisition will also enable the combined company to realize significant operating efficiencies. The properties in Journal Media Group’s markets will benefit from the consolidated functions Gannett has established over the last several years. Additionally, the regional proximity of some of the Journal Media Group markets will also enable Gannett to further utilize its printing and distribution assets.

Financial Highlights

  • Adds approximately $450 million to Gannett’s annual revenues.
  • Adds approximately $60 million of adjusted EBITDA, including over $10 million of immediately available synergies.
  • Opportunity for approximately $25 million of additional operating synergies to be fully realized over the next two years via the consolidation of corporate and administrative operations, integration with the Gannett shared service centers and consolidation of certain printing and distribution assets in multiple adjacent markets.
  • Immediately EPS accretive: approximately $0.10 – $0.15 per share in the first full year and $0.20 – $0.25 in the second year.

Strategic Highlights

  • Adds 15 dailies and 18 weeklies in 14 local markets, in nine states; includes key markets such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Memphis and Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Adds daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 675,000 and 950,000, respectively.
  • Adds more than 10 million unique digital domestic visitors a month.
  • Leverages Gannett’s existing industry-leading content and national USA TODAY brand, enables the integration of Journal Media Group properties onto Gannett’s Digital Platform, and delivers additional scale for National-to-local strategy.

Tax Considerations
The transaction is not expected to disturb the tax-free treatment of the prior transactions between The E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications, whereby Journal Media Group has previously agreed to indemnify Scripps for the adverse tax consequences emanating from its actions or failures to act following the closing of that transaction. Journal Media Group, prior to entering into the merger agreement with Gannett, has delivered an unqualified tax opinion from its law firm to Scripps, which opinion Scripps has deemed to be acceptable in form and substance.

The receipt of cash for shares of Journal Media Group will be a taxable transaction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In general, a holder of Journal Media Group common stock will recognize a gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash received in the merger and the holder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares.

Required Approvals
This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including, approval of the merger by holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Journal Media Group common stock and antitrust regulatory clearance. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

Stephens Inc. is acting as financial advisor to Gannett, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is acting as legal advisor to Gannett. Methuselah Advisors is acting as financial advisor to Journal Media Group, and Foley & Lardner LLP is acting as legal advisor to Journal Media Group.

HP to be biggest exhibitor at Drupa 2016

HP will overtake Heidelberg as the largest-single exhibitor at Drupa 2016, and a revamp of the exhibition’s floorplan will see the digital print giant take over an entire hall at the show.

HP’s graphic arts business, which will become part of the new $54.6bn (£35.6bn) turnover HP Inc organisation next month,will occupy the whole of hall 17 encompassing some 6,200sqm. At the last show in 2012, it had 4,952sqm in hall four.

“This is a big, big investment from our side and the next project for us and all our divisions. Indigo, PageWide and Latex are all geared towards Drupa,” said HP marketing director for EMEA Ronen Zioni.

“Drupa is not just ‘Druck and Papier’ anymore,” he added. “We have a very serious offering around packaging and this is very much aligned with the Drupa team’s ambitions, they are looking for innovation. They were very receptive of our wish to be the biggest exhibitor.”

Zioni said it was too early to share any specifics about what HP planned to exhibit, but said it would involve “a lot of innovation not seen before” and a very substantial investment.

“We have made some choices about where we invest with it being a Drupa year. Our pre-Drupa event will be in Israel in April, where we will keep the momentum of Dscoop going by holding Dscoop5 and sharing with our customers what we are doing at Drupa,” he explained.

Heidelberg has long occupied hall one in its entirety, to the extent that it has become known as “the Heidelberg hall”. And while it remains in this location for the upcoming show, it is now sharing the space with a number of other companies, including its Chinese outsourcing partner Masterwork Machinery, and cutting specialist Polar. Heidelberg had previously stated that “in line with current market requirements we will be demonstrating innovative solutions alongside our partners in Dusseldorf.”

Other firms sharing the space with the world’s largest press manufacturer have a less obvious connection. They include papermaker Stora Enso, humidification specialist Draabe, and Swiss UV varnishing machinery manufacturer Steinemann. Heidelberg was unavailable for further comment about its plans at the time of writing. Other notable exhibitors to up their presence at Drupa 2016 include Landa Digital Printing, which will be in hall nine again but with more than double the space than when it launched in 2012, at 3,000sqm.

A source at one equipment manufacturer said: “It’s going to be very much a digital show in my opinion. Offset will be a bit player.” Drupa 2016 encompasses 19 halls and was 80% sold out at the end of last year, with a few spaces still remaining on the current floorplan. Hall four, where HP was previously located, now includes a number of paper suppliers as well as Pitney Bowes.

The show has an overall message of “touch the future” with six highlight themes: Multichannel, Print, Functional Printing, 3D Printing, Package Production and Green Printing. It will take place from 31 May to 10 June 2016