Fife’s largest employer has a new owner and a new name—Quebecor World Integrated Media is being purchased by Q/Media Services Corporation of Vancouver, B.C. for $63 million.

Quebecor employs about 500 people. They produce CD-ROMs and documentation for software companies.

The Fife operation has been owned by Montreal-based Quebecor, Inc. since 1995. This is the fifth name change in six years for the facility.

The company began as Print Northwest. Originally a printing company, it expanded into electronic media six years ago and changed its name to Print NW/Six Sigma. It has been moving toward producing complete packages of software and documentation, while keeping the traditional commercial printing side of the business.

In 1995 it was purchased by Quebecor and became Quebecor Integrated Media. In 1999 it became Quebecor World Integrated Media to reflect another addition to the Quebecor empire.

In recent years, software companies have shifted away from producing their own documentation and CDs. Printing companies have moved in to capture the market. The Fife operation, for example, has contracts with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Adobe and other computer industry leaders.

“Q Media felt very good about our customer base,” says Sales Manager Karen Patricelli.

It will continue with traditional printing, serving a customer base that includes Sasquatch Books and the State of Washington.

“We are one of the largest printers in Washington,” Patricelli points out.

The company prints brochures, catalogs and other materials. This was a major factor in Q Media’s decision to buy the Fife plant, says Patricelli.

The deal should be complete by May 31, she says, adding that Q Media also is purchasing a Quebecor plant in Westboro, Mass.

With annual sales of $75 million in American dollars, Q Media is quickly becoming an industry leader. It recently acquired facilities in nearby Redmond, as well as Irvine, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Tenn.

Q Media reportedly does not plan to change the management team at its new operation in Fife.

“We don’t anticipate major changes,” says Patricelli. “It will be business as usual.”

By John Larson, Business Examiner staff