Publishers were dealt an unhappy surprise last week when Quad unexpectedly closed its book printing facilities, sending publishers scrambling to find a replacement. Quad did not respond to requests for comment from PW on whether it had plans to re-open the book plants.
The closure comes at a time when the loss of printing capacity is one of the many concerns publishers are facing because of the new coronavirus outbreak. Overall, most printers are printing, although on different schedules as they adjust to state policies, staffing, and types of books.
Quad put its book printing business up for sale last fall following the collapse of its proposed merger with the country's largest book printer, LSC Communications, after the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit. Quad has yet to respond to requests for comment from PW on whether it has found a buyer, but to date, none has been announced.
LSC, meanwhile, is continuing to operate, though it is dealing with its own financial challenges. Revenue in 2019 fell 15% compared to 2018, dropping to $3.33 billion, and the company posted a net loss of $288 million. Sales from its book group fell 4%, to %1.01 billion.
Accompanying the release of its 2019 financial report in early March, LSC reported that it was in noncompliance with its financial covenants, putting it in danger of defaulting on its loans. LSC bought some time to work out a financial plan, reaching an agreement with its lender which prevents them from taking action on outstanding debts until May 14.