Cenveo Closing Former Cadmus Printing Plant, Impacting 184 Workers
It appears the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another fatality. At least that's the reason Stamford, Conn.-based Cenveo Worldwide Ltd. is giving for the decision to permanently close its Cadmus printing facility on Byrdhill Road in Richmond, Va., by the end of May, resulting in the layoffs of 184 workers. It also marks the end of a storied Cadmus legacy in Henrico County, whose roots date back more than 100 years.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our customers’ businesses and, in turn, has diminished the available work at the facility, noted Gina Genuario, Cenveo senior VP of human resources and benefits, in the federally mandated WARN notice regarding the closure. "One large customer has ceased all work permanently, several publishers have cancelled or delayed their print projects, and nearly all comic production has ceased.
"Due to these unforeseen business circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to fulfill the 60-day WARN notice. We are providing this notice as soon as practicable," she added.
Cenveo acquired Cadmus Communications — which then had approximately 3,300 employees — for roughly $430 million ($24.75 per share), including debt, in early 2007. Then-publicly held Cadmus was heralded at that time as the world’s largest printer of scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals, as well as the fifth-largest periodicals printer in North America, with annual revenues of more than $450 million.
The Cadmus acquisition made the combined company the third largest graphic communications company in North America (only behind RR Donnelley and Quebecor World), with combined revenues of more than $2 billion.
In making the announcement, Robert G. Burton, then-chairman and CEO of Cenveo, stated: "Cadmus’ operations are a perfect complement to Cenveo’s product line and will create immediate cross-selling opportunities for both companies’ customers. Cadmus, with its highly regarded reputation for excellence, and strategically niched product offering, is a perfect example of how we will grow our company by acquiring leaders in higher growth sectors of the printing market."
A Rich History Dating Back More Than a Century
Cadmus Communications was formed as a holding company in 1984, with the merger of The William Byrd Press, of Richmond, Va., and Charlotte, N.C.-based Washburn Graphics. The William Byrd Press was founded in 1913 as a commercial and periodical printer that evolved into web offset printer of scholarly journals. Washburn Graphics was primarily a financial printer.
Cadmus diversified during the 1980s and 1990s, primarily through M&A deals and various reorganizations. Early on, it acquired such companies as American Graphics in Atlanta, Baltimore-based Garamond Press, and Vaughan Printers in Orlando, Fla.
In 1992, Cadmus became a publisher with the acquisitions of Marblehead Communications in Boston and Tuff Stuff Publications in Richmond, Va. It acquired Easton, Md.-based journal printing specialist Waverly Press the following year.
Cadmus purchased Lancaster Press, of Lancaster, Pa., in 1996, and Easton, Pa.-based Mack Printing in 1999 for approximately $200 million, among several more acquisitions that followed to help it diversify.
Printing Impressions also inducted then-Cadmus CEO C. Stephenson Gillispie Jr. into its Printing Impressions Printing Industry Hall of Fame (click here to read the profile on Gillispie) in October 1999.
Cenveo shut down Waverly Press in 2009, resulting in about 200 job losses. It closed the Cadmus LexisNexis facility in Charlottesville, Va., in 2010, impacting 61 workers, as part of a three-plant closure. And the former Mack Printing operation — which dated to the late 1800s — was shuttered by Cenveo in 2012, resulting in the loss of 195 jobs.
Of what were once Cadmus locations, Lancaster Press and the Cadmus Hurlock, Md., operation, which provides warehousing, fulfillment and some printing, reportedly remain open.
This month's closure of the signature Cadmus plant in Richmond, however, marks a proverbial end to what was once Cadmus Communications, easily one of the most high-flying printing industry players during the 1980s and 1990s.