ICSM Business News: collapsed wide format print outfit had 'eye-watering levels of debt' including £2.92 million to unsecured creditors

ICSM Business News: collapsed wide format print outfit had 'eye-watering levels of debt' including £2.92 million to unsecured creditors

The Cardiff based wide format printing company Gardners owed more than £5.3 million to its creditors when it crashed according to documents seen by Richard Stuart-Turner of the trade publication Print Week.

PFI bought the firm in a pre-pack deal in June along with a sister company Kesslers in 2021 transferring staff to PFI through administrators Kroll.

Print Week reported: “The statement of administrator's proposal, filed at Companies House by administrators from Kroll Advisory on behalf of Morgard Court Ltd, which traded as Gardners, showed that unsecured creditors were hit to the tune of just over £2.92m, made up of nearly £875,000 of intercompany dues and the remainder being trade and expense creditors.

“Six-figure sums were owed to a couple of industry suppliers, with many others, including other printers, owed sizeable five-figure sums. Shareholder Friars 730 Ltd was owed £728,993 while parent Hexcite Group was owed £145,570. HMRC was owed just under £1m, while secured creditor Secure Trust Bank was owed nearly £1.55m.

“Gardners’ book debts were estimated to realise around £1.44m, with other assets estimated to realise around £100,000. This includes inventory and stock with a book value of £533,988 that was estimated to realise just £69,994 according to the report.”

Ian Carrotte on ICSM said the level of debts left by the firm was ‘eye-watering’ as some of the trade suppliers are unlikely to be paid for they were owed. He said: “Unsecured suppliers and creditors take all the risks and take all the hits. Somebody must have known things were going wrong which means some suppliers could have been unaware they may never get paid. ICSM specialises in gathering intelligence of firms not paying their bills or paying late as it’s usually a sign of trouble ahead.”

What is revealing on that note is that the adminstrators from Kroll reported that ‘certain information has been extracted from the company’s books and records’ and that the directors had yet to produce a statement of affairs. Ian Carrotte said this was ‘clearly a concern.’


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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 www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com 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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For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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