After four generations of ownership by the Atkinson and Graaskamp families, The Eau Claire Press Company has been sold to family-owned Adams Publishing Group.
Included in the sale were the daily The Leader-Telegram of Eau Claire, Wis.; The Country Today, an agricultural weekly based in Eau Claire; Leader Printing, a commercial printing operation; and associated digital products.
Cribb, Greene & Cope represented The Eau Claire Press Company in the sale, which closed June 1. No financial terms were disclosed.
“After 130 years of family ownership, selling The Eau Claire Press Company was not an easy decision for the Graaskamp and Atkinson families,” President and CEO Pieter Graaskamp said in a statement. “However, at a board strategic planning session, we discussed the long-term viability of an independently owned family media company. We came to the difficult decision nearly a year ago that selling was the best option for our employees and the communities we serve.”
Graaskamp said there were a number of suitors for the company, “but when we met the members of the Adams family, we felt from the beginning that they would be an excellent choice to succeed our families.”
“We’re very excited to welcome The Eau Claire Press Company to our family of companies,” Adams Publishing Chairman Stephen Adams said. “Through generations of stewardship, The Eau Claire Press Company has sought to be considered one of the most respected newspapers and digital companies in the country.”
Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing Group owns and operates newspapers and printing plants in 11 states and is a division of the Adams Office, which owns and operates a number of other businesses, including Adams Outdoor, Fairway Outdoor, Adams Radio Group, Good Sam/Camping World, and wineries and vineyards in the United States and Europe.
All of The Eau Claire Press Company’s employees will be offered employment and benefits with the Adams Publishing Group, the companies said.
Pieter Graaskamp will continue as president and CEO of The Eau Claire Press Company, a role he has held for more than 14 years. Dan Graaskamp will continue as vice president of Sales. Mike Carlson will continue director of circulation and marketing.