WASECA — Waseca's largest employer, Brown Printing, is being sold by its German-based owner to Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics.
Quad/Graphics will pay $100 million for Brown. Brown expects to generate about $350 million in revenues during fiscal year 2014, according to a press release from the two companies.
Brown Printing was founded in Waseca by the late Wayne “Bumps” Brown in 1949. Today the 775,000-square-foot facility employs about 750 non-union workers. A Brown spokeswoman said the company does not expect the sale to affect the number of employees at the plant.
The sale also includes two other Brown facilities, one in Illinois that employs 550 and one in Pennsylvania that employs 500.
Brown is the third largest magazine printer and fifth largest catalog printer in the U.S.
Since 1979, Brown has been owned by Gruner Jahr AG & Co. of Hamburg, Germany, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG and Europe’s largest magazine publisher.
Quad/Graphics was founded by the late Harry Quadracci in 1971 in Sussex, Wis., where it remains headquartered. The international company has 25,000 employees and describes itself as "a leading global provider of print and multichannel solutions for consumer magazines, special interest publications, catalogs, retail inserts/circulars, direct mail, books, directories, and commercial and specialty products."
They have more than 50 facilities on three continents.
The Waseca plant prints about 200 weekly, bi-weekly and monthly publications with print runs that range from 25,000 to several million.
Quad/Graphics and Brown said that the sale has been approved by both companies' board of directors and Brown's parent company. The sale is expected to be completed later this year.
In 2005, the Waseca facility began its largest expansion to date. The $56 million multi-year 150,000-square-foot expansion included a six-story warehouse building, paper receiving, paper storage and additional pressroom bays.
“This acquisition is consistent with our ongoing strategy to transform Quad/Graphics and create value for our clients and shareholders,” Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, president and CEO said in a statement.
“Brown has prospered under the ownership of Gruner + Jahr and its shareholders for the past 35 years. Their strong financial support along with Brown’s talented and dedicated employees has fueled our growth,” Mike Amundson, president and CEO of Brown Printing, said in a statement.