Geiger (UPIC: geiger) announced last week that it is seeking a buyer for its printing and manufacturing operations in order to focus its energies on its distributor business. The Lewiston, Maine-based distributor, which also prints and publishes the Farmer’s Almanac, has produced calendars, journals and other items for 135 years. It cites consumer movement away from such products to electronic alternatives for its decision. The company does not plan to shutter its production facilities until May and is still taking orders with shipment dates through the end of May.
Geiger is currently in talks with companies interested in acquiring the manufacturing unit. The buyer will take over Geiger’s printing and finishing operations and produce products for the distributor and other businesses.
Peter Geiger, executive vice president, spoke with PPB Newslink on the distributor’s decision and why it announced the news now. “We had considered a number of options for our manufacturing operations, always hoping to keep them moving forward,” he says. “It was in December  that we made the decision to divest. Because much of what we do is dated products, the timing was important.”
About 75 people will be laid off in the closing of the manufacturing business. Geiger says that the company plans to ease their transition and possibly find new roles for them elsewhere within the company. “We’re going to do everything we can for the people being displaced,” he says. “Some may be absorbed into other aspects of the business, and we’ll look at other steps such as hosting job fairs to help the rest find work. Our employees have a good reputation in the community and will be an asset wherever they are.”
Geiger’s role in producing the popular Farmer’s Almanac, a 196-year-old publication the company has owned and published for almost 75 years, has drawn national attention to the company’s divestiture plans. While getting out of the business of printing and binding the Almanac, Geiger will remain its publisher with Peter Geiger and Sandi Duncan continuing on as editors.