Recent Actions: *Quad completed the sale of its Versailles, Ky., book manufacturing plant, to CJK Group, Inc., which serves book, magazine, catalog, and journal publishers. This initiative was the first step in the previously announced strategic decision to divest the Company’s book business to optimize its product portfolio. Quad expects to use the proceeds from the sale to reduce debt. *The Company obtained an amendment to its existing April 28, 2014, senior secured credit facility that widens the leverage ratio by an estimated 0.75x to 1.0x turn through the third quarter of 2021. As a part of this agreement, Quad maintains the ability to complete certain acquisitions during the relief period and has agreed to reduce the revolver capacity, which was previously expanded to support a subsequently terminated acquisition, from $800 million to $500 million. The agreement’s maturity remains January 2024, and Quad’s next nearest debt maturity is the 7% senior unsecured notes due May 2022. *Quad recently strengthened its leadership team at its integrated marketing agency, Periscope, with the addition of new President, Cari Bucci-Hulings. Bucci-Hulings is an industry expert who has driven highly successful product development and business growth platforms, and most recently served as President of MARC USA, one of the largest independent agencies in the country. *The Company also continues to scale Accelerated Insights, its proprietary virtual testing platform, to help clients in multiple industry verticals predict which combination of format, offer, message and imagery will be most effective in print. The unparalleled testing methodology drives improved response at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional testing. Quad recently brought aboard senior-level data analytics and business insights talent to expand the solution beyond direct mail and catalogs to packaging and other retail uses.
Flint Group Narrow Web introduces two UV-flexo coating products to improve the recyclability for shrink sleeves and pressure sensitive labels. These coatings are currently available in North America and will soon be available in Europe and other regions.
Using different chemistries, the Evolution Deinking Primer, for shrink sleeves, and the Evolution Caustic Resistant Over Print Varnish (OPV), for self-adhesive labels, are designed to increase the yield of material in the recycling process. Both coatings have been recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers to comply with the critical guidance for PET packaging.
The Evolution Deinking Primer is a coating used on shrink sleeve materials that makes the ink release in the caustic bath of the recycling process. When used with crystallizable polyester shrink sleeve material (CPET), the primer keeps the ink anchored to the substrate through the usable life of the sleeve, but releases it in the caustic bath. The ink is removed from the sleeve material without contaminating the valuable bottle flake. The materials are then rinsed and pelletized into recycled polyester (rPET) for reuse.
Evolution Deinking Primer is applied by the conventional UV-flexo process and works with Flint Group’s EkoCure® XS flexo inks that are specially designed for shrink sleeves.
The second product, the Evolution Caustic Resistant OPV, is a UV-flexo overprint varnish to facilitate recycling PET bottles utilizing pressure-sensitive labels. The varnish minimizes contamination of the wash water and bottle flake in the caustic bath by keeping the ink secured to the label substrate. When immersed in the float-sink bath, the label is released from the bottle and floats to the surface where it is separated from the bottle recycling stream.
Neither the Deinking Primer nor the Caustic Resistant OPV has any impact on ink color, image quality or code readability. This means that converters can have a smooth transition to the new coatings.
The coatings will be the highlight of Flint Group Narrow Web’s stand presentation at the Label Congress (booth #51, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL, 29-30 September 2021). They are the first products in Flint Group’s Evolution Series, designed to bring positive impacts on sustainability in the label and packaging value chains.
John Pogatschnik, North America marketing manager, Flint Group Narrow Web, comments: “The Deinking Primer and Caustic Resistant OPV are simple to use and offer optimal performance at all stages of the label or sleeve lifecycle, while meeting the stringent requirements of the APR critical guidance. Switching to these new products is disruption-free, has no adverse effect on functionality, and works with our standard inks.
“Both products are ‘plug and play’ solutions that enable better recycling without impacting the quality or application performance. A converter doesn’t need to qualify a new ink series and rematch several colors: simply splice into a recognized substrate, turn on the primer or OPV, and more sustainable labels or sleeves are rolling up on the winder.”