ICSM Print Business News: insolvent print finisher firm bought by its directors in pre-pack

ICSM Print Business News: insolvent print finisher firm bought by its directors in pre-pack

By Harry Mottram: A print company that went bust has been bought by its directors in a pre-pack organised by Begbies Traynor reports Dominic Bernard for the print industries’ publication Print Week. The journalist reported online: “Folio Print Finishing has been sold in a pre-pack deal to a second company owned by its directors, David Robshaw and Andrew Bird, after two major customers entered insolvency. Folio entered administration on 5 April, and was sold the same day to ATB - Folio Print & Packaging Solutions Ltd., a company previously used by Folio’s directors to hold the assets used by both Folio and Bristol Bespoke Boxes, their other company.”

According to Andrew Bird the print finishing outfit in Avonmouth was hit by bad debts to the tune of just south of £100,000 earlier this year when two customers went bust and failed to pay their invoices. One hundred thousand would sink many a firm and not surprisingly with cash flow hit the firm decided to call in administrators although eyebrows may be raised at how convenient might appear to some that the directors could essentially dump any debt in the pre-pack. Again in the past questions have been raised about pre-packs and they have on occasion been used by firms in financial difficulties as in this case Folio were already in an arrangement according to Mr Bird with the taxman. That suggests there were already difficulties in the cash flow department – which would not make them unique as surveys in the print industry have recorded a high level of debt across the sector.

Those with a keen interest in such matters will be intrigued by Print Week’s report: “Bird added that recent investments by ATB in new machinery from the firm’s now defunct competitor, UK Bookbinders, and the relocation of Bristol Bespoke Boxes to its own premises, would help secure ATB’s future success.”

And the firm has form as in 2011 the company was sold out of insolvency in a prepack when the bank called in their funding.



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