Woodford Litho plans administration process

Jo Francis
Friday, July 3, 2015

Woodford Litho is poised to go into administration in what is being described as a “managed process”.

The Witham-based web offset printer has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators, which is likely to happen within the next fortnight.

Chairman Simon Fox told PrintWeek: “I have been wrestling with this for a long while now. The firm has been losing money and my children aren’t interested in joining the business, so I have decided to draw stumps and stop.

“I am a creditor and this has been costing me £50,000-£60,000 a month for the last 18 months. It got to the stage where I’m going to be better off not continuing in print,” Fox added.

“There is no bank involved and no overdraft. This is a shareholder-driven managed process that I believe will deliver the best outcome for employees, shareholders and creditors.”

A 30-day consultation period with the company’s 50 employees was completed today.

Woodford Litho had turnover of around £8m in its most recent financial year, Fox said. Three years ago sales at the business were £13.2m.

The firm produces catalogues, magazines and commercial web offset print from its 7,450sqm factory. Ten years ago it installed a KBA Compacta C618 48pp web press, and it also has two older G14 web presses, a 14-station Kolbus perfect binder, and stitching facilities.

“I have had all the equipment valued and if it is all sold off there is a high expectation that creditors will be paid,” Fox explained. 

“There is also currently an interested party who is potentially interested in renting the premises and equipment for the busy autumn period and that will be the subject of discussions with the administrator.”

PrintWeek understands that Nick Alexander, chief executive of Garnett Dickinson and Acorn Web Offset, is the interested party.

Fox is being advised by Frances Coulson, head of litigation and insolvency at Moon Beever, and Steven Law of Baker Tilly Restructuring & Recovery.

The company was founded by Fox’s grandfather Bob Fox in 1934.

If Woodford Litho closes down, it means some £35m of web offset capacity will have been removed from the UK market in just a matter of months, following the failure of Artisan Press in May.



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