Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Transcon buys Redwood Custom Communications

[This post has been updated] Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. has acquired Canada's largest custom publisher, Toronto-based Redwood Custom Communications.

François Olivier, president and cIhief executive officer at Transcontinental, says his company's main goal is to aid customers in reaching and retaining their target audiences, and that Redwood is at the frontier between traditional publishing and direct marketing. Since Transcon was in custom publishing already, the deal moves the company into a dominant position virtually overnight. It's not clear what the deal means to the joint venture deal that Transcon made with British custom publishing firm Seven Squared in August 2007 to create Transcontinental Custom Communications.

Transcon is one of Canada's leading printers and the largest consumer magazine publisher. Among Redwood's clients are Aeroplan, Canadian Automobile Association, Home Depot, Mazda, Procter & Gamble, Sears and Sobey's. Redwood's 130 employees will continue to be led by Eric Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, who retains an undisclosed 25% equity stake.The company has offices in Toronto and New York.

"By partnering with Transcontinental, Redwood Custom Communications has the opportunity to grow its relationship marketing business and deliver incremental value to its clients," said Eric Schneider in a release. "Our team is thrilled about the opportunities ahead of us."

[UPDATE: Some excellent follow-up reporting by Marco Ursi at Masthead adds texture to the story, including the fact that essentially the Redwood brand will eventually disappear under the Transcontinental brand and that Transcon, predictably, will gradually take over all of the printing of Redwood custom pubs that has heretofore been done by competitors like Quebecor and St. Joseph.]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

update: untrue
Transcon will not take over all printing at Redwood.
Redwood will not become transcon, rather they will go through a rebranding in the following 18 months

*just setting the story straight*

3:40 pm  
Blogger M said...

Says who? I was told that Transcon will take over the printing for Redwood materials.

1:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your reporting conflicts with that of the Canadain

Transcontinental will gain new printing work as it
shares the printing of Redwood magazines with
Quebecor World (TSX:IQW) and St. Joseph

The Canadian Press
Transcontinental buys Toronto marketing firm Redwood Custom
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Section: Business
MONTREAL _ Transcontinental Inc. (TSX:TCL.A)
says its purchase of a Toronto marketing and brand
promotion agency is part of a strategy to develop
custom advertising and publishing.
The Montreal-based printing and publishing company
didn't disclose how much it's paying for the
130-employee Redwood Custom Communications.
Redwood will complement a newly created
marketing communications sector, which provides
database analysis, e-mail marketing, printing and
other services, Transcontinental said.
``We think it really builds upon our strengths being a
publisher and a printer,'' Isabelle Marcoux,
Transcontinental vice-chairwoman and vice president
of corporate development, said in an interview.
She said Redwood is a Canadian leader in the
development of custom magazines, websites and
consumer marketing with annual sales in the tens of
millions of dollars.
``It's really expanding our service offering into
custom communications that includes custom
Transcontinental will gain new printing work as it
shares the printing of Redwood magazines with
Quebecor World (TSX:IQW) and St. Joseph
Redwood's clients include Aeroplan, the Canadian
Automobile Association, Home Depot, Mazda,
Procter & Gamble, Sears and Sobeys
Transcontinental paid cash for the 75 per cent of
Redwood that was owned by U.S. communications
giant Omnicom. Redwood CEO Eric Schneider, who
owns 25 per cent, remains an equity partner.
The 44-year-old Schneider said he wanted to join
forces with Transcontinental because it shares his
vision to grow the business.
``What I have been hankering for is a much more
engaged and involved partner,'' said Schneider, who
will continue to lead the acquired operation, which
has offices in Toronto and New York.
Uniting several services under one roof will offer
customers the ability to better integrate their efforts,
he said.
Transcontinental CEO Francois Olivier said the
media and printing company's primary goal is to help
customers reach and retain their audience.
``Custom communications is at the frontier between
traditional publishing and direct marketing, and
offers the potential to unlock great value for our
clients,'' he stated.
Transcontinental's marketing communications sector
was formally launched last week as part of a
corporate restructuring.
Comprised of about $400 million of annual sales and
1,300 employees, it will include printing and graphics
specialist the PLM Group.
Redwood was forced to layoff several staff about a
year ago after losing the Kraft account, which
included the publication of the What's Cooking
Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and
sixth-largest in North America, with more than
15,000 employees.
The Montreal-based company, which also publishes
magazines and newspapers and has a digital platform
and a door-to-door advertising distribution network,
had revenue of $2.3 billion last year.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Transcontinental
shares closed down four cents to $11.25.
Copyright © 2008 The Canadian Press
FPinfomart.ca Pa

1:45 pm  

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