Administrators Dean Nelson and Nicholas Lee of Smith Cooper were appointed at the Colchester-based company on Friday (15 February).
The previous day Pressroom Plus managing director Ian Richardson had told PrintWeek it was “business as usual” at the firm, in response to reports that employees had not been paid and an insolvency event was imminent.
Pressroom Plus is understood to be the UK’s biggest independently-owned dealer and offered a “one stop shop” to litho, digital and screen printers. Its product range includes Huber inks, Trelleborg, Day and Kinyo blankets, pre-press consumables including film and plates; pressroom sundries such as washcloths and chemicals, and a range of proofing and wide-format media.
The firm also offers an in-house colour mixing service.
Richardson was previously the finance director at Hubergroup UK. He took over as the majority shareholder at Pressroom Plus at the end of 2017, when Hubergroup sold its blankets business to Pressroom Plus, and also disposed of its 30% holding in the business at the same time.
The 30% stake was valued at £250,060 and the total consideration was £896,000 including £610,634 of stock.
A source close to the situation said that he believed two parties were potentially interested in parts of the Pressroom Plus operation, although one industry expert described the market in general as “awful”.
“The market was so down in January, it was an awful month, and if you rely on invoice discounting everything falls off a cliff,” he said.
“With the exchange rate as it is, unless you put prices up 20% you’re losing money. It’s going to put so much pressure on plate, ink and paper prices.”
In its most recent accounts, for the nine months to 31 May 2018, Pressroom Plus posted sales of just under £4.7m, compared with £3.1m for the prior year. It made a small pre-tax profit of £17,478 turning around a loss of £229,071 the previous year. The firm’s liabilities included bank debt of £1.1m and trade payables of £1.2m, and it had negative equity of £541,236.
Neither Richardson or Smith Cooper had responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.