The clock is ticking for the YM Group’s ‘fast track sale’ as the end of the financial year ends – reveals Print Week



The clock is ticking for the YM Group’s ‘fast track sale’ as the end of the financial year ends – reveals Print Week

One the country’s largest print groups is in crisis and potentially on the verge of collapse after the YM Group put three of their sites up for sale writes Harry Mottram.

Concerns were raised last year when reports of production problems emerged from the struggling network of business. YM Group was created out of York Mailing and consists of York (mailing), Pindar printing and established in Scarborough in 1836, The Lettershop Group in Leeds involved in direct mail, YM Chantry in Wakefield who print magazines and Go Direct Marketing in Leeds.

The problems surrounded the printing of the Daily Mail Group’s (DMG) magazines and supplements over issues of delivery and the ability to meet the regular orders of millions of weekly publications. Centred around mechanical breakdowns and a perceived lack of investment by outsiders YM took the contract from Prinovis last August making the industry take a collective intake of breath. Could they manage the new account? The answer to the question it seems is no.

Jo Francis writing in Print Week outlined YM’s difficulties in what was described as ‘a perfect storm’ of problems resulting from the failure of their KBA press prompting a ‘not a crisis meeting’ of the directors which the MD Peter Greaves failed to attend due to a holiday. The comments section in Print Week often give an indication of how outside observers view proceedings in a company and clearly they were not positive about the future, casting dispersions on the management at YM.

By December Print Week charted another crisis at the printing firm when Jo Francis reported their accounts for the year had been delayed. She wrote that the firm’s directors said they were confident their turnaround plans were on course and that sales would improve in 2022. By then the critics were in full voice with one commentator in the Print Week comment section suggesting that YM were ‘dead in the water.’

Fast forward to March and YM have put up for sale three of is sites. Jo Francis reported this week: “Print Week can reveal that Notices of Intention to Appoint an Administrator (NOI) were filed today (25 March) relating to web offset plants YM Chantry Ltd in Wakefield, York Mailing Ltd in York, and Pindar (Scarborough) Ltd in Scarborough.”

There is certainly trouble at the mill, to use an old phrase, with the main trade union saying that agency workers had been sent home while other full-time workers were reassured they would be paid. It all sounds like the decline and fall of a once huge printing organisation. To add fuel to the fire Jo Francis reminded Print Week readers that: “The group’s accounts to 31 May 2021 were originally due to have been filed by 28 February, but YM agreed a three-month extension with Companies House and the new filing deadline is 28 May.

“The business was also due to renew its £17m invoice finance facility with Barclays last month, while the repayment of £19m in senior loan notes owed to Pricoa, which had been pushed back by a year, are supposed to be paid back in September.”

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