Transcontinental (company)

Toronto Stock Exchange Canada Coveris

Transcontinental Inc.
TC Transcontinental
Traded asTSXTCL.A
IndustryPackaging, printing, direct marketing
FounderRémi Marcoux, Claude Dubois and André Kingsley
Headquarters1 Place Ville Marie,
Montreal, Quebec
Key people
François Olivier
RevenueC$3.0 billion (2019)
C$166.1 million (2019)
Number of employees

Transcontinental Inc., operating as TC Transcontinental, is a Montreal-based packaging, commercial printing and specialty media company.

The company was established in 1976 as a direct marketing company, and later expanded into newspaper printing, as well as newspaper and magazine publishing outright. In the mid-2010s, Transcontinental began to exit the mass media industry by divesting its consumer-oriented publications, local newspapers, and its financial industry publications. In turn, the company began to make a number of acquisitions in the packaging sector to diversify beyond its existing printing business.

Transcontinental is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and has over 9,000 employees—the majority of which are based in Canada, the United States and Latin America.[1]


The company was founded in 1976 by Rémi Marcoux and partners Claude Dubois and André Kingsley as a flyer-printing business. It generated $2.9 million in revenue in its first year of operations.[2] In 1978, the company was renamed GTC Transcontinential Group, and it established a Door-to-door distribution division known as Publi-Home Distributors.[3][4]

In 1979, the company entered the publishing industry after acquiring Les Journal des Affaires and SIC. It also purchased the Imprimerie Chartier printing plant. In 1984, the company went public on the Montreal Exchange, and later the Toronto Stock Exchange.[5] Transcontinental subsequently performed a number of acquisitions over the decade that followed, including 20 Telemedia-owned community newspapers in the Montreal area, The Hockey News, and a number of commercial printing companies (including Southam Inc.'s plants and printing division), among others.[5] On January 29, 2000, GTC Transcontinental announced its acquisition of the publishing business of Telemedia for $150 million, including Canadian Living, Homemakers, and the Canadian editions of Elle and TV Guide.[6] In 2002, Transcontinental acquired 12 newspapers and two printing plants in Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan from CanWest Global for $255 million, in what was one of the company's largest transactions to date.[7] In 2003, after receiving the contract to print Montreal's La Presse, the company established its new Transcontinental Métropolitain printing plant.[8]

In 2011, Transcontinental reached an agreement to exchange assets with the U.S. printer Quad/Graphics, acquiring six of its Canadian plants (dating back to its predecessor Quebecor World) and a prepress in Markham, Ontario, in exchange for Transcontinental's Mexican operations, and a stake in a black-and-white book printing operation owned by the company.[9][10] In 2012, Rémi Marcoux stepped down as chair of the board, and was succeeded by his daughter Isabelle Marcoux.[11]

In December 2013, Quebecor Media subsidiary Sun Media announced that it would sell 74 of its community newspapers in Quebec to Transcontinental in a deal valued at $75 million.[12] The Competition Bureau approved the sale in May 2014, under the condition that Transcontinental divest 34 of its Quebec newspapers for competition reasons.[13] To comply with the conditions, Transcontinental sold 14 newspapers to other parties (however, only 3 of them were slated to remain as print operations, as the remainder were to become online-only publications under their new owners), and shut down 20 of them entirely.[14]

In March 2014, Transcontinental acquired U.S. packaging supplier Capri Packaging; CEO François Olivier considered flexible packaging to be a diversification into a "new promising growth area", amidst softening revenue in advertising, and decreases in its core printing businesses.[15] In November 2014, TC sold 15 of its consumer magazines, including Canadian Living and The Hockey News, to Quebecor's Groupe TVA for $55.5 million. Transcontinental also received a contract to print magazines and marketing materials for TVA through 2021. The company stated that it wanted to focus more on its local properties.[16][17]

In May 2016, Transcontinental sold its 13 newspapers in Saskatchewan to Star News Publishing of Alberta. As a result, a TC plant in Saskatoon was also shut down.[18] On December 1, 2016, Transcontinental Media acquired Rogers Media's financial industry publications, including Advisor's Edge, Avantages, Benefits Canada, Canadian Insurance Top Broker, Conseiller, Canadian Investment Review and the Canadian Institutional Investment Network. Rogers intended to focus more on its consumer publications.[19][20]

On April 13, 2017, Transcontinental announced that it had sold all of its properties and four printing plants in Atlantic Canada to SaltWire Network, a newly-formed parent company of The Chronicle Herald.[21][22][23] On April 18, 2017, Transcontinental announced that it planned to place 93 of its remaining newspapers in Ontario and Quebec (including Montreal's Métro) for sale, in order to "contribute to the continued sustainability of local media and to foster greater connections with the advertisers and communities they serve", and to focus more on its educational publishing and specialty media operations.[24]

In April 2018, Transcontinental announced that it would acquire Coveris Americas for US$1.3 billion, its largest acquisition to-date, as part of an effort to bolster its flexible packaging business. Isabelle described the proposed purchase as one that would "[crystalize] our strategic shift toward flexible packaging and solidifies our commitment to profitable growth". The purchase would make Transcontinental the seventh-largest packaging company in North America.[25][26][27]

On September 19, 2019, Transcontinental announced that it would sell its financial industry publications to two companies. Several, including Les Affaires and Benefits Canada, were divested to Contex Media—a new company led by Transcontinential president Pierre Marcoux. The former Rogers B2B publications were sold to the Toronto-based Newcom Media, leaving only Transcontinential's construction industry unit Groupe Constructo, and its book publishing unit.[28]

Current operations


Transcontinental established its packaging business in 2014 with the purchase of Capri Packaging, as part of a move to diversify beyond its declining print and advertising businesses.[15] The division focuses primarily on the production of flexible packaging for consumer goods, such as bags and pouches. The division has grown primarily via the acquisitions of other vendors, having consolidated into one of the largest converters of flexible packaging in North America.[29]



Transcontinental Printing is the largest commercial printing companies in Canada, and one of the largest in North America.[36][37][38]

In January 2016, the Toronto Star announced it would outsource its newspaper printing to Transcontinental with a five-year contract beginning in July 2016. The operations were shifted to its Vaughan plant, which led to the closure of the Toronto Star Press Centre.[39] The same month, TC announced the closure of its Quebec City printing plant, resulting in the loss of 140 jobs.[40]

This was followed in November 2017 by the announced closure of its Métropolitain plant, primarily citing the transition of La Presse to a digital-only publication.[41][42] In May 2019, Transcontinental announced that it would close its Brampton plant by the end of 2019, resulting in the loss of 125 jobs.[43]


Transcontinental Media primarily published community newspapers and specialty business-to-business publications, particularly within the financial industries (such as Les Affaires, and the former B2B publications of Rogers Media).[19][20] It also publishes French-language educational resources under the Éditions Transcontinental, Éditions Caractère, and Groupe Modulo imprints.[44][45]



  1. ^ "Can TC Transcontinental Recover?". Dividend Earner. May 7, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Rémi Marcoux cède la barre de TC Transcontinental". Infopresse. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "Rémi Marcoux, beauceron pur sang". www.lesaffaires.com (in French). Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Goldenberg, Joel. "TC Transcontinental - Forty Years of Growth". The Suburban Newspaper. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Cercle des Grands entrepreneurs du Québec". cercledesgrandsentrepreneurs.com. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "GTC acquires Telemedia's magazines". Retrieved July 11, 2019.
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  8. ^ Orfali, Philippe. "Transcontinental veut convertir l'usine qui imprimait La Presse". Le Journal de Montréal. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Transcontinental to close two Quad/Graphics plants, cut 500 jobs". Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  10. ^ "Transcontinental Exchanging Assets with Quad". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "Marcoux quitte la présidence du conseil d'administration de Transcontinental". HuffPost Québec (in French). February 16, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  12. ^ "Sun Media sells 74 community newspapers to Transcontinental for $75-million". Financial Post. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "Transcontinental told to sell 34 papers in Sun Media deal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Faguy, Steve. "Transcontinental sells 14 community newspapers, shuts down 20 more". Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Transcontinental acquires U.S. flexible packaging firm, raises dividend". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "Quebecor's TVA Group buys 15 magazines from Transcontinental". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  17. ^ "Quebecor's TVA Group buys Hockey News, Canadian Living". CBC News. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "Star News Publishing buys 13 newspapers across Saskatchewan". CBC News. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "TC Media acquires Advisor Group from Rogers". Investment Executive. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "The End of an Era. Rogers Media Sells off some of their iconic B2B Media Brands in November". Masthead Online. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  21. ^ "Chronicle Herald buys all Atlantic Canadian Transcontinental papers". CBC News. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  22. ^ "Transcontinental sells The Guardian, Journal Pioneer". CBC News. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Chronicle Herald acquires Transcontinental Inc.'s newspapers, news websites and four printing plants in Atlantic Canada". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Transcontinental selling 93 newspapers in Ontario and Quebec". CBC News. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  25. ^ "Transcontinental to diminish role of printing with US$1.3-billion packaging deal". Financial Post. April 2, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  26. ^ Tison, Marc. "Isabelle Marcoux et François Olivier, personnalités de la semaine". La Presse (in French). Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  27. ^ Goldenberg, Joel. "TC Transcontinental - Forty Years of Growth". The Suburban Newspaper. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  28. ^ "Transcontinental selling majority of publications to Newcom Media, Contex Group". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  29. ^ "TC Transcontinental Strategically Shifting to Flexible Packaging". Flexible Packaging Magazine. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  30. ^ "Transcontinental Inc. acquires Ultra Flex Packaging". Canadian Packaging. September 1, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  31. ^ "Transcontinental acquires Robbie Manufacturing". Canadian Packaging. June 30, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  32. ^ "Transcontinental buys Stern Partners-backed Flexstar Packaging". PE Hub. October 17, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  33. ^ "Transcontinental buys Montreal packaging firm Flexipak". Canadian Manufacturing. November 1, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  34. ^ "Transcontinental buys Multifilm Packaging, a U.S. snack and candy packaging firm". Financial Post. March 7, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  35. ^ "TC Transcontinental acquires Coveris Americas". Labels & Labeling. April 3, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  36. ^ "TC Transcontinental - 2019". www.businesschief.com. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  37. ^ Goldenberg, Joel. "TC Transcontinental - Forty Years of Growth". The Suburban Newspaper. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  38. ^ "Building Print Platforms: TC Transcontinental's plans for newspapers and packaging". PrintAction. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  39. ^ "Torstar to sell printing plant in Vaughan, close to 300 jobs affected". CityNews Toronto. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  40. ^ "Transcontinental closes printing plant in Quebec City, cuts 140 jobs". Montreal Gazette. Canadian Press. January 26, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  41. ^ "Transcontinental closing Montreal newsprint plant as industry struggles". Canadian Manufacturing. November 7, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  42. ^ "Transcontinental Closing Métropolitain Plant". PrintAction. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  43. ^ Frisque, Graeme (May 11, 2019). "Transcontinental closing Brampton printing plant, laying off 125 workers". BramptonGuardian.com. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  44. ^ "Édition - Transcontinental achète Chenelière Éducation". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  45. ^ "Édition - Chenelière absorbe Gaëtan Morin éditeur". Le Devoir (in French). Retrieved August 1, 2019.