Manroland GB's sheetfed arm rescued from administration
By Darryl Danielli Wednesday, 07 March 2012
Manroland GB's sheetfed arm has been bought out of administration and a deal for the web operation is on the verge of being secured.
The sheetfed division, consisting of 37 staff, began trading yesterday as Manroland Sheetfed (UK) following its acquisition by the Langley Holdings-owned Manroland Sheetfed.
The deal brings to an end three months of uncertainty for customers and the remaining staff, following the division’s fall into administration in December.
Joint administrator Zelf Hussain said: "I’m ecstatic the sale actually got away. For me it was never about extracting value, it was about trying to save jobs. I’m disappointed that we had to make some redundancies, but we have found homes for the vast majority and that’s a great result."
Hussain added that deal with Possehl Group-owned Manroland Web Systems for the UK web business was imminent.
Manroland Sheetfed (UK) will be headed by former sheetfed sales director Adam Robotham, who was made acting managing director following the redundancy of then managing director Norman Revill and 13 other staff on February 23.
Robotham said that his key objective was to rebuild market confidence in the company.
"We want to establish that we’re back and that service and spares are the most important things to us. We have lost some reputation and we have to rebuild trust with our customers. We had a fantastic 2011 in terms of selling equipment, and we hope to be able to emulate that.
"The [UK] company going forward will be more about operational delivery, rather than an executive, high-level strategic business. All of the people in the business are very operationally focused, we want to be the best service company we can be, and if we can do that, then we convince customers to invest in new equipment," he added.
The sale had been mooted since early February following Langley Holdings acquisition of Manroland’s sheetfed operations in Germany and 40-plus subsidiaries. In an exclusive interview with PrintWeek at the time, Langley Holdings chairman and chief executive Tony Langley said that he was "strongly pursuing an interest" in Manroland GB and expected to have a Manroland sheetfed subsidiary in the UK.
However, the talks with the joint administrator initially stalled within a couple of weeks due to Langley Holding’s focus being on the integration of Manroland in Germany, according to Hussein.
He added that Manroland GBs final salary pension scheme, which was central to the ‘old’ company’s failure, is in the process of being passed on to the Pension Protection Fund.
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