No April Fool’s Joke: three of YM Group’s companies enter administration after days of confusion leaving workers and suppliers unpaid

No April Fool’s Joke: three of YM Group’s companies enter administration after days of confusion leaving workers and suppliers unpaid

None of the workers, suppliers or customers of the three YM factories of YM Chantry, York Mailing, and Pindar Scarborough thought it was an April Fool’s Joke when they ceased trading and entered administration writes Harry Mottram.

The factories had been part of a massive print industry operation printing magazines and brochures including a lucrative contract for the Daily Mail Group (DMG) they took on last summer. Now the businesses are in ruins with little prospect they can be saved by the administrators as potential buyers pulled out of any sale.

The YM Group is backed by Pricoa Private Capital provider who had been injecting millions into the business last year in order to stabilise YM during a rocky period. Writing for the industry publication Print Week Jo Francis has reported Pricoa is owed £2.5 million in loans suggesting to readers they have no desire to throw good money after bad. However, without Pricoa’s cash the workers and suppliers have not been paid leading to considerable bad feeling at the plants.

Print Week explained the three sites printed for a range of publishing and commercial customers, including time-sensitive weeklies for Bauer Media, Daily Mail publisher DMG Media, Guardian News & Media, Reach and the BMJ. Earlier Jo Francis had noted these clients had ‘scrambled’ to find alternative companies to print their titles.

This is another blow to the industry and in particular to the firms who supply YM. One pallet firm blockaded the entrance to York Mailing when their account of £67,000 was not paid in a desperate attempt to force payment. It sadly is now too late with a string of suppliers left high and dry. ICSM understands that some suppliers entered the factories to take away vats of ink and pallets of paper which had not been paid for while the workers downed tools as the companies went into free fall.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said the writing had been on the wall when reports of crisis meetings had taken place before Christmas at YM. He said once the accounts were delayed and directors claimed there wasn’t a problem some suppliers feared the worst.

“It reminds many of the collapse of Polestar,” he said, “a well-established business over reaching itself with a slow motion collapse in confidence by the industry. Suppliers and staff have paid the price which is a tragedy as everyone will be out of pocket.”

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