WASECA, Minn. (AP) - The largest employer in Waseca is shutting down.

Quad Graphics, formerly Brown Printing, will close at the end of the year.

Sussex, Wisconsin-based Quad Graphics bought the Waseca plant just three years ago for $100 million. The sale also included two other Brown facilities - one in Illinois that employed 550 and another in Pennsylvania that employed 500.

At the time, the 775,000-square-foot Waseca facility employed about 750 non-union workers. The Mankato Free Press reports job cuts have since left fewer than 400 workers at the plant, but it remained the largest employer in the southern Minnesota city of 9,200.

KARE 11 spoke to more than a dozen past and current employees who did not want to speak on camera for fear of how it might affect future employment -- a sentiment they say seemed to be expressed by the employer who is planning to lay them off.

Some of the employees were understanding of the decision, saying they were pleased to be getting a severance package. Others were angry, saying that the writing was on the wall for years.

Waseca Mayor Roy Srp says when Quad Graphics purchased the plant, there was talk it did so to eventually close it.

"Rumor was they were coming here to shut the plant down and it was not going to be very long," Srp said. "But they were a good neighbor and good in the community."

A company spokeswoman did not return a phone call and an email from KARE 11 requesting comment on the closure, but told the Waseca County News that it was not a reflection of the productive employees at the plant and said the closure was needed to "strengthen its competitive position."

According to the Associated Press, Quad says about 30 employees will continue working for the company in the Waseca area after the plant closes to support clients and other Quad facilities.