OC Weekly Sold to Duncan McIntosh

Voice Media Group announced today it has sold OC Weekly, its award-winning publication in Costa Mesa, Calif., to Irvine-based publisher Duncan McIntosh.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. VMG announced in January 2015 that it had retained merger and acquisition firm Dirks, Van Essen & Murray to explore new strategies for its portfolio of publishing assets, including the possible sale or acquisition of alternative publications or digital businesses.

Since then, VMG has sold the Village Voice of New York City, City Pages of Minneapolis, and the Riverfront Times of St. Louis as part of a plan to expand its successful digital agency business and focus resources on core editorial properties.

The sale of the Weekly caps that restructuring process, and VMG chief executive officer Scott Tobias said he was pleased to see McIntosh step forward as the buyer in Orange County.

“We’re happy to know that our great team at the Weekly will be in the hands of a well-established local publisher with significant assets and a commitment to continuing its tradition of excellence,” Tobias said.

During the 10 years VMG has owned the Weekly, the publication has been recognized nationally for its investigative reporting, including ground-breaking stories exposing misconduct at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The Weekly is also known for its smart and irreverent coverage of local music, restaurants, arts and culture.

“Purchasing the OC Weekly brings us full-circle. We started with a weekly newspaper in Newport Beach, we’re very excited to be taking over a publishing icon in Orange County with such a great staff and a major presence online,” said company president Duncan McIntosh.

Following the sale of the Weekly, VMG will continue to own and operate V Digital Services, its digital agency, along with LA Weekly, Phoenix New Times, Denver’sWestword, Miami New Times, the Dallas Observer, the Houston Press, and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

Langley Report Shows manroland sheetfed in the black

Langley Holdings plc, the diverse engineering and industrial group, behind manroland Sheetfed, has published its IFRS Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended December 31, 2015.

The group reported a pre-tax profit of €106.7 million on revenues of €874.5 million. The group had nil debt and almost €330 million of cash reserves at the year end. Tony Langley said in his Chairman’s Review that 2015 had been a “significant milestone” for a number of reasons.

manroland sheetfed, the largest of the group’s five divisions in revenue and employee terms, was in positive territory for the fourth straight year, since acquiring the printing press builder in early 2012. But it was Piller, the electrical systems for data centers producer and ARO, the automobile welding machinery market leader, that were the principal drivers of the 2015 result, both posting near record profits.

Claudius Peters, the group’s plant machinery builder, was in line with modest expectations due to widely sluggish cement and steel markets. Druck Chemie, the chemicals producer, which completed its first full year in the group, and Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, both reported ‘satisfactory’ results, as did the Other Businesses division as a whole.

In his concluding chairman’s remarks, Langley acknowledged the contribution made by the group’s near 4,300 employees, commenting that the outstanding performance is ‘no accident.’ With opening order books totaling €300 million, he expects 2016 will be another successful year and said that the group will continue to search out new acquisition opportunities.

James Cropper to recycle up to 100m McDonald’s cups

James Cropper could soon be transforming up to 100 million used McDonald’s coffee cups a year into paper after the two companies signed a landmark deal.

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The papermaker said it was the first trial of its kind in the UK. Currently James Cropper recycles more than 10 million paper cups per week at its £5m reclaimed fibre plant, which was opened by the Queen in 2013.  The plant separates the plastic in the cups from the fibre, so it can be used in the company’s finest papers. But the cups are not post-consumer waste; the material is waste from the cup manufacturing process.

According to the papermaker, it is difficult to source suitable used cups as they are typically disposed of with other waste, often away from the point of purchase. And because the cups are polyethylene-coated they are not conventionally recyclable.

Now McDonald’s has installed new collection stations in around 150 of its 1,250 UK restaurants, with more to come. James Cropper will see increased deliveries of the baled cup paper each month as the roll-out occurs. Quality and manufacturing technology manager Steve Oxley said that depending on the rate of capture of cups in the restaurants, the company could recycle anything from 30 million to 100 million cups over the next 12 months.

“We have to run extended trials with different paper grades but it is expected that the recovered fibres will be suitable to use, in varying addition rates, in most of our regular paper grades.”

Market development manager at James Cropper Richard Burnett said the company was seeing an increased demand for eco-friendly products such as luxury shopping bags.

“The partnership with McDonald’s signifies an important next step in recycling used paper cups and, ultimately, reducing waste going to landfill,” he said. Paper cups make up nearly a third of all McDonald’s packaging waste.

Helen McFarlane, sustainability consultant at McDonald’s UK added: “We’re eager to see what this trial with James Cropper and Simply Cups will look like, hopefully helping set up the infrastructure for others to use in future.”