Stationery and print firm Spicers Office Team’s future in serious doubt as buyer sort

Spicer’s Office Team (SPOT) is urgently seeking a buyer as speculation mounts over its future

One of the largest stationery wholesalers in the UK Spicer’s Office Team (SPOT) is in serious trouble due to the coronavirus pandemic, bad debts and market uncertainty according to a Sky News report. In the report it stated the group were ‘urgently looking for a buyer.’

Writing for the trade publication Print Week Jo Francis said: “Paper manufacturers and print suppliers are watching anxiously after the future ownership of Spicers Office Team (SPOT) was called into question due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Exploring options

SPOT CEO Steve Horne said: “Due to the significant impact Covid-19 has had on trading, Spicers and OfficeTeam are looking at strategic options to take the business forward. As with many businesses at this time, as a precautionary measure whilst the board continues to explore all options, staff have been informed that jobs may be at risk and we are looking to start consultation; but we can confirm there have been no redundancies.

“As a company we are backed by a private equity company [Better Capital]; and therefore we have always been ‘on the market’ and open to a sale as this is naturally how private equity backed companies operate. The Board of Directors are exploring a number of options whilst we continue to review the way forward. This will inevitably cause speculation in the press and throughout our industry.”

In response leading industry insider Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the announcement would send ripples through the sector as everyone grappled with the fall-out from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Spicers Office Team is a major player so it doesn’t bare thinking about if the worst happened,” he said. “Their supply chain features every type of supplier there is in the business from envelopes to office furniture and from paper clips to PPE for the health industry.”

The company was founded in 1796 as a paper mill but expanded to encompass a variety of sectors from office suppliers to the owner of printing companies and a stationery distributor to 2,500 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

Print Week

Jo Francis said: “The group had sales of £281m in its most recent accounts, for 2018, and made a near-£26m operating loss after restructuring its network following the acquisition of Stat Group and Zen Office, as well as cost inefficiencies due to some large contract wins. SPOT’s previous banking facilities expired in January 2020. This has been extended to July 2022, with stock worth £6m pledged against the new facility.”

Free help for suppliers

ICSM Credit is offering companies who are chasing up overdue invoices free temporary membership and legal letters to help them secure cash flow during the lock down. Ian Carrotte said: “These are worrying times so we have so far helped scores of firms pull in cash they are owed to help them get through this period with most debtors paying up.”

ICSM Credit

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website or email Ian at on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website or send an email to

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit

Tel 0844 854 1850 ___ Fax 01454 327 355
Privacy Policy   © ICSM All Rights Reserved