Brown Printing – an iconic business of the Upper Perkiomen Valley since 1957 – will be acquired by Quad/Graphics for $100 million, company officials announced Monday.
Although details about how the acquisition will affect the company and its employees are scarce, Brown Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Bergin said, "We don't expect anything to change."
However, she added that "none of those things have been discussed," as the acquisition is still in the regulatory approval process and she does not know Quad/Graphics' ultimate plan for the location. The deal is expected to close in the second half of the current fiscal year, roughly late June.
Although the company was not for sale, Bergin said Brown Printing's parent company, the German-based Gruner + Jahr, had left the U.S. publishing business in 2005, with the exception of the Brown facilities. "Moving forward, it doesn't make much sense strategically" for Gruner + Jahr to retain the Brown locations, Bergin said. Quad/Graphics is "very focused on print as a core activity…We think it's a great home" for Brown.
Claire Ho, a representative from Quad/Graphics, said details about how the two companies will integrate will come after the deal closes.
Brown – which operates three facilities in Weseca, Minn., Woodstock, Ill., and East Greenville – provides American publishers and catalogers with premedia, printing, distribution and integrated media solutions. The East Greenville location employs approximately 550 people, Bergin said. Quad/Graphics, a global printer and media channel integrator, has 70 printing plants globally.
Both Quad/Graphics' board of directors and Brown's parent company Gruner + Jahr and its shareholders approved the transaction.
Also unknown at this time is how the acquisition could affect the company's presence in the community. "Brown has been a great community partner [and] my hope is that our relationship will remain unchanged," said Luanne Stauffer, president of the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Brown has been active in a portion of the chamber's Perk Up program that aims to introduce high school students to potential job opportunities in the region. Stauffer said about 25 students visited Brown on Wednesday as part of the program, and she is confident that such partnerships will continue in the future.
Brown Printing was founded nearly 60 years ago by Wayne "Bumps" Brown in Waseca, Minn., who branched out from his father's newspaper printing business to produce catalogs, auction bills and other publications. The company opened its East Greenville plant in 1978, initially employing 78 people. Gruner + Jahr purchased the company 35 years ago.