Commercial printer Wright’s (Sandbach) Ltd has been sold back to its original management as a going concern following the appointment of administrators.
Stephen Clancy and Sarah Bell of financial advisory service Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators to the company on 20 June following a winding-up petition from paper supplier Howard Smith Group.
Director Andrew Sehne said he had been paying percentages of his bill to the paper merchant on a weekly basis since January, but believed the company might have “lost patience” after six months of incomplete payments.
Sehne bought back his company on 3 July for £25,000 via the newly incorporated Wright’s Printers. He is currently renting the property from the administrators but said that he had gained planning permission to convert a part of the building into apartments to sell off and regain money to pay back unsecured creditors.
He commented: “The ideal scenario is that all our assets which are being sold will realise their full value and will amount to around £500,000 or more, meaning that we can pay our debts to suppliers in due course.”
He had been working with Duff & Phelps regarding cash flow projections so he immediately turned to the insolvency practitioners for advice when the winding up order was received.
Clancy and Bell told Sehne that he could not move forward while the winding-up petition was outstanding and the company accounts with Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest were frozen in the time it took him to drive from the financial advisor’s Manchester office to his plant in Cheshire.
Sehne said that the outcome of administration was a “tremendous shock”.
Almost 100% of clients are happy to continue trading with the newly formed Wright’s Printers, some of whom have been working with the previous company for 70 years, according to Sehne, but convincing suppliers to maintain a working relationship was more difficult.
He said: “For the most part, we have had to gain new suppliers as most don’t want to know anymore, particularly the Paperlinx group (which Howard Smith Group belongs to). Most say they are not interested in a pre-pack, but we are not a pre-pack in the conventional sense; the sale was not set up before hand, and the company was put out to market.”
“Two or three” potential buyers visited the premises, Sehne said, but he is unaware whether any offers were put in for the going concern sale. However, he decided to buy back his company to avoid new owners potentially relocating the business to other parts of the country.
He said: “I kept the company on to keep all of our 21 staff on board, most of whom have worked here for 30 or 40 years since finishing school, including myself.
“Now, we hope to make the best of a bad situation and move forward in proactive and positive way with our clients and suppliers.”
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