Pinstripe enters administration

Rhys Handley
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Pinstripe Print has fallen into administration due to “extremely difficult” trading conditions and a 22% drop in turnover.

Established by Nigel Lyon in 1998, the Birmingham commercial printer employed 24 members of staff and offers litho, digital and large-format services.

With a turnover of £2.26m in 2015 projected to fall to £1.77m in 2019, managing director Lyon said he explored “drastic action” to sustain the business, but found all options unsuitable. As a result, on 24 October, Andrew Turpin and Matthew Hardy of Poppleton & Appleby insolvency practitioners were appointed as administrators for Pinstripe.

According to Turpin, limited trading will continue in the short term as the administrators attempt to find a buyer for the business. However, Lyon, who was the BPIF’s representative on the Oversight Group for the government’s Pre Pack Pool, said he would “absolutely not” be throwing his own hat in the ring.

“Challenges in the B2 market today are immense,” he said. “We have been affected by issues like overcapacity and reductions in volumes alongside pressures like horrendous maintenance costs, increasing prices for consumables, utility bills rising by up to 10% and the general economic uncertainty of Brexit.

“Due to competition in the market, there was little opportunity to increase prices to offset all these demands and 2018 has been a particularly challenging year. After a lot of hard thinking, looking for solutions and taking advice it seemed closing the company was the correct and responsible decision.

“By taking action at this point, I have acted before the company is in a truly horrendous state. This means that all staff have been paid up to the date of administration and hopefully we can pay all our creditors.

“I have worked with many of the staff for 20 years and it was incredibly difficult to tell them the news. It is a sad time, but I do not think we are alone in the print industry with this.”

Pinstripe is currently only fulfilling work-in-progress and one-off jobs while the administrators seek a buyer. Seven members have staff have been laid off so far, with the status of the remaining 17 to be reviewed as work is completed.

According to Lyon, some members of staff have already managed to secure offers for alternative employment with his assistance.

Other factors that played into Pinstripe’s decline included customers looking into alternative marketing channels, delays in client decision-making and tightening deadlines.

The firm also struggled to make investments as its profit levels were reduced, recording a loss in 2017 that was on track to increase over the current financial year.

PrintWeek understands Pinstripe's assets include a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75, a Heidelberg Linoprint and HP wide-format printers.

While he is not directly involved in the administration of Pinstripe he said he was focused on “doing the best I can to assist in the process”.

In a statement, joint administrator Turpin said: "This is a sad day for all involved in the business, but reflected the difficulties facing the print industry. Limited trading is continuing in the short term while we explore the options and the possibility of fnding a buyer for the business."

Lyon has long been involved with the BPIF, serving as chair of its government and industry committee from 2007 to 2009 and sitting as a director of its Pension Trustees board, and was awarded by the body for his contributions to the print industry in 2016.

BPIF chief executive Charles Jarrold said: “We’re very sorry to hear that Nigel has had to make this decision, and for the impact on staff at Pinstripe.

“Nigel’s great experience in the sector, and his involvement and support to further the sector’s interests have been really valuable both to the BPIF’s members and the wider print sector as a whole, through his input on pensions, lobbying and the sector’s concerns with pre-pack abuses.

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