There had been speculation that an interested party had secured backing to bring the long-established Banbury sheetfed printer back into production, but PrintWeek has learned that it was not possible to agree a financially viable deal, and the plan will not be pursued any further.
An informed source said: “The business was filled with low-margin work and had huge debts. It was irretrievable, it was like a corpse they were trying to stand up again.”
Administrators from FRP Advisory took charge of the business on 16 March, and the company ceased trading immediately.
Commenting on the administration, Geoff Rowley, the joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory said a number of parties were interested in the company’s assets, which include a brand-new ten-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL106 that only went into production at the end of last year.
“We continue to explore options for the sale of all or some of the company’s assets as part of our efforts to recover value for creditors. As such we remain in discussions with a number of interested parties,” Rowley said.
Both Buxton Press and Stephens & George have ruled out any interest in the XL106, with both companies telling PrintWeek that the specification did not match their respective requirements.
Henry Stone had employed 101 staff and produced a range of magazine, catalogue and commercial print work. As well as the new XL, it had two older SM-model long-perfectors with reel-sheeters, plus associated finishing kit including stitching, binding and laminating.
Amicus Asset Finance had a number of outstanding charges over Henry Stone’s assets, according to filings at Companies House.