Wisconsin-based Quad Graphics has acquired World Color Press, the Canadian corporation formerly known as Quebecor that is responsible for printing the majority of comics in North America along with magazines like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone.  World Color Press stockholders will receive 40% of the combined company, which will be listed on a U.S. stock exchange (Quad Graphics is currently privately held).  Under the deal, which is expected to close this summer, the combined company, which will have 30,000 employees, will be #2 in the industry behind R.R. Donnelley & Sons.


The two companies have been talking since Quebecor World, World Color Press’s predecessor, emerged from bankruptcy (see “Quebecor Reorganization Plan Approved”) last August.  Estimates of the size of the deal are in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.  The combined company will have revenues in the range of $5 billion annually, and Quad Graphics estimates that the merger will yield some “$225 million in pre-tax net annualized synergies within 24 months.”


The technologically advanced Quad Graphics, which is headquartered in Sussex, Wisconsin has clients that include Newsweek, GQ, and catalog giant L.L. Bean.