July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

53 jobs lost in Medina after sale of Vertis Communications

MEDINA — Vertis Communications is closing its Medina facility and 53 workers will lose their jobs, following a bankruptcy court-supervised acquisition by rival Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics.

Claire Ho, a spokeswoman for Quad/Graphics, said the Medina facility is being closed because it was not part of the acquisition.

The Vertis Communications facility on East Smith Road in Medina is expected to close by May 31. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

“There are some facilities that were not included in the purchase,” she said.

Vertis, 620 E. Smith Road, is a print advertising and direct-marketing facility that produces advertising inserts and newspaper products for retail and consumer services companies, according to its website.

The Baltimore-based company has been under financial stress for several years and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization three times since 2008. A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved the sale to Quad/Graphics in December.

In a news release detailing the deal, Quad/Graphics said it paid a net price of $170 million for Vertis. The purchase price was $267 million but that included a payment to Quad/Graphics of $97 million.

The Wisconsin-based company said the acquisition would save money and provide “increased manufacturing flexibility and distribution efficiencies from an extended geographic footprint.”

“We have had the opportunity to work very closely with Joel Quadracci (president and CEO of Quad/Graphics) and his team over these last several months in planning a successful integration,” Vertis CEO Gerald Sokol, Jr. said. “More than ever, we are convinced that this combination represents the best possible outcome for our customers, employees and other stakeholders.”

The Medina facility was American Color Graphics before it merged with Vertis in 2008. At that time, 20 employees were laid off and another 145 had uncertain futures because the merged companies announced plans to close the Medina facility. The plans changed and it remained open.

Vertis now has 53 employees, who will lose their jobs May 1 when the Medina facility shuts its doors, according to paperwork filed by the company with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

In addition to the Medina site, Vertis Communications operated an advertising insert and newspaper product facility in Columbus.

Quad/Graphics hasn’t announced plans to close that site and has posted a number of new job openings for the Columbus location on online job-finder sites.

Other Vertis sites that will close include North Brunswick, N.J.; Dallas; and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

This isn’t the first time an acquisition by Quad/Graphics has resulted in job losses for the region.

In 2010, Quad/Graphics acquired World Color Press and shut down its Oberlin facility. A total of 119 employees lost their jobs when World Color Press closed the Lorain County site.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.