Transcontinental to stop printing Hearst’s San Francisco Chronicle next year

MONTREAL — Transcontinental Inc. (TSX:TCL.A) is transferring its printing operations in Fremont, Calif., back to the Hearst publishing organization as their multi-year outsourcing agreement comes to a close next spring.

The Montreal-based company will receive US$42.8 million cash as compensation for early termination of their printing agreement for the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the sale of some equipment and for services rendered.

Employees of its TC Transcontinental division working at the Fremont plant will be transferred to Hearst on April 2.

The company said it maintains ownership of the Fremont plant and will be rent it to Hearst until the end of 2024. It will also transfer some equipment from Fremont to other TC Transcontinental plants in Canada.

Transcontinental — which has Canada’s largest commercial printing business — has been divesting its newspaper holdings and increasing its presence in consumer product packaging.

It recently announced the sale of 12 newspapers in Quebec and their related web properties for an undisclosed amount, part of a plan to sell local and regional papers that was announced in April.

It has also announced that its Metropolitain printing plan in Montreal will close in January, due to the upcoming end of printing of La Presse newspapers as the next phase of its switch to digital publishing.

La Presse — one of Quebec’s largest francophone news organizations — announced earlier this year that its last Saturday print edition will be published Dec. 30. It stopped publishing a daily print edition on Jan. 1, 2016.

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