YM Printing Group: ‘What a MESS,’ as millions are owed to suppliers in ‘Polestar’ type collapse

Where it started to go wrong with the DM contract. Pic: Print Week

YM Printing Group: ‘What a MESS,’ as millions are owed to suppliers in ‘Polestar’ type collapse

By Harry Mottram: Creditors to the collapsed YM Group will be left with next to nothing according to a report by FRP Advisory who are raking over the ashes of the once mighty printing empire that had the Daily Mail’s colour magazines amongst its customers.

ICSM understands that the Pindar outfit owes an eye-watering £22.5 million pounds to unsecured creditors while York Mailing were in hock to £9.7 million and YM Chantry owed £28.77 million to unsecured creditors.

Although these figures are close to being finalised with the directors have been given extra time to complete the accounts- and they will come as a devastating blow to the scores of firms left high and dry when the YM companies went to the wall in March.

There was considerable anger across the industry in the way the YM Group was managed or rather mismanaged and in particular the manner of the collapse leaving workers unpaid and unsecured creditors left without payment.

The trade publication Print Week explained that YM’s backer Pricoa had refrained from bailing out the group resulting in workers left high and dry and a string of suppliers left unpaid. But now it appears they had already pumped in £51 million prior to the collapse to the three parts of YM’s web offset businesses – all to no avail. And the debts between the various YM units amount to £60 odd million.

The bank loan of nearly half a million pounds as a secured creditor to the two firms will be paid in full as will the administrators who will earn as much as £400,000 to tie up the dissolution. However, the creditors of Pindar such as Scarborough Borough Council are left with £555,585 in unpaid invoices and the South African paper supplier Sappi won’t get the third of a million they are owed. Another paper supplier – Perlen Papier loses £123,557 in invoices that won’t be settled as will Lecta paper UK who lose out on more than £100,000 of goods that won’t be paid for.

York Mailing owed their electricity supplier more than £400,000 – no wonder the power got shut off in the final days. And spare a thought for Showcase Pallets whose actions in blocking entry to the Elvington site in March over unpaid invoices of £56,064 bringing the collapse to national attention – they will get sweet FA or so it would seem.

And of course, the staff were also left without their last salaries which are picked up by the tax payer through the Redundancy Payments Service. Walstead has bought what is left of the companies which at least gives some hope to workers left out of a job. ICSM has described the affair as a mess and likened it to the collapse of Polestar which perhaps precipitated the decline of the print publication industry that once printed millions of copies of papers and magazines each week.

ICSM members were alerted to problems with YM ever since they took on the DM account last summer - which industry insiders at the time doubted was viable for them to service. Since last August the business has been in a slow-motion car crash – and now we see why with these figures.

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For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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