Maquoketa Web Printing announces sale of accounts, assets to Wisconsin firm

Officials of Maquoketa Web Printing announced today the sale of the company’s customer sales accounts and other assets to a Wisconsin printing firm.

The transaction is effective immediately. It will result in the closing of the 31-year-old Maquoketa commercial printing plant, located at 1287 E. Maple St. in the Timber City Industrial Park, and the elimination of 43 full-time jobs.

The assets were purchased by Lyke Corp. of Ripon, Wis., doing business as Ripon Printers. The transaction was announced jointly by R. B. Melvold, president of Maquoketa Newspapers Inc., the parent company of Maquoketa Web Printing, and by H. Andersen Lyke, president and owner of Lyke Corp.

Employees were notified of the sale on Thursday. Lyke said the firm will offer employment to some employees of Maquoketa Web Printing. Maquoketa Web Printing is working with staff from Iowa Workforce Development and the Jackson County Economic Alliance to assist other employees in securing new jobs.

R.B. Melvold, who is sales manager for Maquoketa Web Printing, said the transaction resulted from the lack of ownership succession of the family-owned business and the decline and consolidation of the printing industry nationwide in recent years. The company is now in its second generation of family ownership. Its owners have reached or are approaching retirement age; third generation family members have chosen careers and life paths that don’t involve commercial printing, Melvold noted.

“We have been privileged throughout our careers of being associated with many caring, dedicated and especially hard working co-workers who made satisfying our customers a top priority,” said Melvold.

“Selling the business after two generations of family ownership has been the most difficult decision we have had to make.  At this stage of our lives and with the consolidation happening in our industry, selling to Ripon Printers is the best all-around option.  Ripon Printers is a leader in our industry, very well managed and will take exceptional care of our customers,” Melvold added.

“We look forward to serving the excellent customer roster that Maquoketa Web Printing has developed over the years,” said Lyke. “We believe our cultures fit well together and that clients will experience a seamless transition while benefitting from greater capacity, newer technology and a broader suite of services. We hope some of the current staff at Maquoketa Web Printing will join our team at Ripon.”

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