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This article was published 28/2/2011 (3853 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
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 Monday it has bought Steinbach-based Derksen Printers Ltd. and The Carillon.
The sale price was not disclosed.
Derksen Printers is a family-owned business that operates the largest custom newspaper 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, CEO of FP Newspapers Inc., which controls FP Canadian Newspapers.
The printing operation and newspaper employ 50 people and have annual revenues of $5 million. The deal officially closed Monday.
Publisher Rick Derksen, whose grandfather, Gerhard Derksen, founded the company in the middle of the Great Depression, said he felt mixed emotions about selling the business.
"There comes a time when you know it is time to go. The members of my family have embarked on different careers. You have to have adrenaline to want to run a newspaper. It used to be in style for the kids to take over the family business, but it's time to have somebody like the Free Press (running it). It will be a good change," he said.
His son, Matthew, has worked at the company for years and will join the Free Press on the sales side, he said.
Derksen said with his wife already retired, the opportunity to sell his business to FPLP meant he could follow suit and they could become full-time grandparents to their three grandchildren.
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 intends 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.
-- With files from Geoff Kirbyson