Prospect Mailing Services in administration

Bradford-based Prospect Mailing Services has been placed in administration six weeks after parent firm Cogent B2B bought rival direct mail business St Ives Direct Bradford for £8m.

Prospect Mailing was placed in administration on Monday (11 November) with London-based insolvency practitioner SFP Group, which confirmed that its partners are currently on site at the direct mailing company’s Wyke facility.

A source told PrintWeek that around 47 members of staff had been made redundant on Tuesday, without pay, and that the future for the remaining workforce, believed to be around 180 people, remained unclear. 

The source added that many members of staff had yet to be paid for October. 

PrintWeek understands staff have been told that the business will be marketed for a period of two weeks, although this has not been confirmed.

Cogent B2B, which describes itself as a structured recovery and support service for distressed SMEs, bought Prospect Mailing in October 2012, its first foray into the direct mail market. A month later it acquired Leeds-based Griffin Mailing, and in September this year St Ives announced it was selling its direct mailing arm, St Ives Direct Bradford, to the business.

Cogent’s chief executive, Kevin Dunstall, who was unavailable for comment at the time of writing, told PrintWeek following the St Ives Direct acquisition that he planned to merge the businesses into one legal entity and a single brand in the following weeks. 

At the time he denied reports that the business was struggling to meet its wage bill, and said that technical problems caused by the merging of banking systems had forced the business to process payments manually. 


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