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Free Press' owner purchases Steinbach paper, Derksen Printers

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An award-winning newspaper in southeastern Manitoba and its sister printing company have been purchased by the company that owns the Winnipeg Free Press and Brandon Sun.

FP Canadian Newspapers Limited Partnership announced today it has bought Steinbach-based Derksen Printers Ltd and The Carillon.

The sale price was not disclosed.

Derksen Printers is a family-owned business which operates the largest custom newspapers and commercial printing plant in rural Manitoba, producing a wide range of weekly and monthly publications.

The company also publishes The Carillon, a regional weekly newspaper serving Steinbach and southeastern Manitoba which was singled out by the Manitoba Community Newspapers Association in 2009 as the Best All Around Newspaper.

"This is an excellent addition for FPLP and we’re very excited about the future prospects of both the commercial printing business and the award-winning weekly newspaper," said Ron Stern, chief executive officer of FP Newspapers Inc., which controls FP Canadian Newspapers.

The printing operation and newspaper employ 50 people and have annual revenues of $5 million.

Bob Cox, publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, said the purchase is a sign that the owners have confidence in the newspaper industry.

"This shows we have a lot of confidence in newspapers and we think they’ll be around for a long time," Cox said.

Cox said FP Canadian Newspapers intend to maintain the high standards that The Carillon has established.

In addition to the Winnipeg Free Press and the Brandon Sun, FP Canadian Newspapers also owns Canstar Community News, publisher of eight community and special interest newspapers in the Winnipeg region.

Derksen Printers was founded in 1936 by Gerhard Derksen.

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