Print industry liquidations mount as Covid-19 effect bites - Ian Carrotte:

Print industry liquidations mount as Covid-19 effect bites - Ian Carrotte: 'it's only the tip of the iceberg'

Just before the lock-down the printing industry was struggling with a long term decline in business. Berforts Information Press (BIP) went into administration in February citing manufacturing troubles and in the same month Leicester printers Taylor Bloxham went bust.. In Sheffield Loop Print went bust in April shedding 22 job and Evolution Print went to the wall in March with more jobs gone. This month print outfit 4Set Limited in Essex were liquidated, the Cornish screen printers Awesome Screen Printers Limited were also liquidated, along with Leicester printers LA Tildesley (Printers) Limited. Litho printer Hill Shorter Limited in West Bromwich hit the buffers in June while liquidators were appointed in the same month for Newbury Printers (NW) Limited in Chorley.

Print industry sees casualties mount

In July Crawley based DCL Print Limited were given the go-ahead for the sale of the firm by the pre-pack pool under the administrators Glyn Mummery and Paul Atkinson both of FRP Advisory Trading in Essex who were appointed. ICSM Credit understands the DCL Print Limited pre-pack has left a string of suppliers out of pocket to the tune of many thousands of pounds. And ICSM Credit’s Ian Carrotte said these insolvencies were only the tip of the iceberg.

He said: “There has been a growth in pre-packs and CVAs as firms try to same themselves by negotiating with creditors or seek to be taken over or bought out. Pre-packs have courted controversy ever since they were introduced back in 2013 as only around 10% are scrutinised by industry professionals in the pre-pack pool. The issue with some pre-packs are over the problem as critics see them of the connected-party purchaser - where an existing director can buy the defunct company, dump much of the debt and in the words of cynics ‘do a phoenix.’ Likewise many see CVAs as a way of postponing debt repayments and even dumping debt in a roundabout way.”

And there were some eyebrows raised with the printing firm Fox Marketing Services MC of Tunbridge Wells went into voluntary liquidation a day after lock-down claiming to have been hit with ‘an unexpected property lease issu.’ Questions were raised by suppliers over the reasons behind the collapse and the fall out which left out of pocket. 

SPOT goes splat

There was shock in the printing and allied trades industries when in Spicers Office Team (SPOT) went bust owing their owed paper and envelope suppliers almost £3m with one paper manufacturer alone owed just under £1.86m. SPOT included Spicers and OfficeTeam, with some suppliers owed money by both. According to administrators Hunter Kelly and Charles King at EY, Spicers Ltd owed creditors £44.5m at the time of administration, while OfficeTeam Ltd owed creditors just over £37m.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “Covid 19 has a lot to answer for but the printing industry’s problems go back further with a switch to digital marketing away from print, the demise of newspapers and magazines and the end of firms like Argos printing millions of catalogues. My heart goes to the suppliers , some of whom have taken a big hits from these firms. The best way to protect a business is to join ICSM’s credit intelligence group and to keep a tight control on credit.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

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.

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