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The Canadian printing company Quebecor World has filed for bankruptcy protection and secured US$1 billion in emergency financing. Quebecor’s predicament reflects some of the stresses taking place in traditional print media, which will only get worse in the next year if the current economic gloom continues as expected.

Quebecor’s bankruptcy filing is a significant event for Yellow Pages because Quebecor World is a major printer of phone books. Quebecor’s Yellow Pages clients (for some or all of their titles) include Yellow Pages Group, Canada’s largest publisher; Yell Group, which has a long-term contract with Quebecor to print its U.S. (Yellow Book) directories; and R.H. Donnelley.

The filing and restructuring has rattled some of the printer’s customers and suppliers, which are wondering about the company’s stability. Quebecor issued a statement today designed to reassure everyone that the company is stable and will continue to meet its obligations.

We would not expect the bankruptcy filing to have an immediate impact on the operations of any of Quebecor’s Yellow Pages clients. The longer-term picture depends of course on whether Quebecor can successfully restructure. If not, this will be an opportunity for Quebecor rivals like Transcontinental and R.R. Donnelley.

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