Mardan Products creditors owed more than £1.5m

McMurray: leading the improvement program being delivered by the new SLT
McMurray: leading the improvement program being delivered by the new SLT

Companies within the PFI Group were owed nearly £240,000 by shuttered Mardan Products, according to documents just filed, with creditors owed more than £1.5m in total.

Rochdale-based Mardan Products specialised in acrylic display products. It has been placed into voluntary liquidation with David Acland and Lilia Thomas of FRP Advisory officially appointed on 16 August.

Employees were notified by FRP that they had been made redundant on 3 August.

The Statement of Affairs for Mardan Products just filed describes the business as “Mardan Products Limited trading as Mardan and Creative Digital”.

PFI Group acquired the Creative Digital Images (CDI) business in a pre-pack deal in January 2021.

After that the Bradford display printing specialist ceased to exist as a standalone limited company and was variously a trading style of group companies Futurama (now in administration) and then Cestrian.

A former employee told Printweek: “We were Futurama and then Cestrian trading as CDI. But CDI as an entity didn’t exist. Staff were paid by Mardan, the equipment was owned by Rymack.

“Towards the end we were receiving numerous winding-up orders but they couldn’t be placed on CDI because it didn’t actually exist.”

According to the Statement of Affairs signed off by PFI Group CEO Darren McMurray, Cestrian is owed £50,646 by Mardan.

PFI Sign Solutions is owed £99,277; Rymack Sign Solutions is owed £79,080; Futurama is owed £8,333 and Sign Plus £320.

The total of related inter-company creditors comes to £237,657.

The biggest single creditor is Go Investment Advisor Ltd, owed £269,930.

It’s not clear what services the firm provided to Mardan.

Go Investment Advisor, formerly Go Investment Advisors Ltd and Go Investment Advisers Ltd, has been a dormant company since 2019. Its confirmation statement is currently flagged as overdue at Companies House.

Printweek has attempted to reach Go Investment Advisor owner Nigel O’Sullivan for comment.

Mardan Products also owed £92,672 to XPS Self Invested Pensions, based in Stirling.

HMRC is owed £99,034.

The firm had taken out a Bounce Back Loan via Yorkshire Bank, with £33,333 of the loan outstanding, according to the report.

Redundancy and payment in lieu of notice totals £544,395.

The total deficiency regarding creditors is more than £1.5m.

Mardan’s assets subject to fixed charge are listed as book debts of £533,555. The ‘estimated to realise’ figure is £269,930, which is then absorbed by Go Investment Advisor.

The only charge against Mardan Products Ltd registered at Companies House was filed in February by Cynergy Business Finance Ltd.

McMurray previously told Printweek that the overall PFI Group, which has been formed via a string of acquisitions, was being restructured and consolidated into its “three constituent Print, Signage and Retail divisions”.

He said Mardan had been closely linked to Futurama and had experienced difficulties since Futurama went into administration, and then became “unviable as a standalone business”.

FRP is also handling the administration of Futurama, and Acland is one of the joint administrators. 

Futurama has an estimated total deficiency of £6.26m. 

Rymack Sign Solutions, which trades as PFI Group, posted sales of £31.9m in its most recent accounts, for 2021. Exceptional items of £4.2m related to Futurama propelled the business to a bottom-line loss of £1.96m compared to a profit of £1.43m in the prior period.