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Quebecor World emerges from bankruptcy

July 22, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The emergence of Quebecor World from bankruptcy proceedings in Canada and the United States, and the financial restructuring that made it possible, will not affect the company's plants in the Tri-State area, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

"There's no impact on the Martinsburg or Fairfield, Pa., plants," Quebecor World spokesman Tony Ross said.

The Montreal-based company, which is changing its name to World Color Press Inc., and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession announced Tuesday they had successfully emerged from protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Canada (CCAA) and Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Both area plants produce books, with about 325 employees in Martinsburg and 450 workers in Fairfield, Ross said.

In October 2008, Ross said the company would cut production, at least temporarily, because of a slowdown in the printing business, but he declined Wednesday to specify any layoffs that might have resulted from that decision.

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"The Martinsburg plant is currently operating on 7-day, 24-hour, 8-hour shifts," Ross said Wednesday. "We expect that the very positive news that the company has exited creditor protection with a strong balance sheet and as a strong player in its industry will help us continue to grow our business."

In the news release, Ross noted that with the company's emergence from bankruptcy protection, the name of the company would change to World Color Press Inc., which previously was the name of one of the merged companies that created Quebecor World in 1999.

The company intends to announce a renewed branding initiative during the next 60 days, Ross said.

"This is an important and exciting day for the company, its customers, suppliers and employees," president and CEO Jacques Mallette said in the news release. "I would like to thank everyone who has supported us through this process. The restructuring and reorganizing process has made us financially healthier and allowed us to start fresh with a strong balance sheet and a leaner cost structure. We believe the Company is now better positioned to meet the present and future competition in the industry and to create value for our stakeholders."

Quebecor World says it has approximately 20,000 employees working in 90 printing and related facilities in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Last month, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine announced in a news release that Quebecor World was planning to expand its Winchester, Va., plant, creating 30 jobs and allowing the company to retain 150 positions there.

The June 25 announcement by Kaine indicated Quebecor World would invest $35.2 million to add two new printing presses and increase production capability at the plant, according to a news release posted on the governor's Web site.

The governor approved a $300,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program for the project, according to the news release.

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