The APG 'newco' will have a hard time losing the 'P' tag

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's hardly surprising that many people have cried 'foul!' - or more specifically, 'phoenix!' - on the news that Centrical Technologies has risen from the ashes of the failed Alderson Print Group (APG).

The fact that it’s being run by the man who is both the son and nephew of APG’s founders, who was also a senior manager of the ‘old’ company, that it’s initially being bankrolled by the self same uncle and father, that it’s based on the same site and uses much of the same kit has understandably led many to dub it with the dreaded ‘P’ word.

Technically, however, it’s not a phoenix – simply because the new company was formed after the old one ceased trading.

Of course, ‘technically’ doesn’t cut much ice when it comes to phoenixes in print. The mere word raises the hackles of anyone who cares about the industry - nevermind rivals, ex-staff or the dozens of creditors that were collectively left with £5.1m of unpaid bills.

There’s also a strong argument that a dead company should stay dead and that any jobs generated at the ‘newco’ will be offset by resulting losses at other firms.

But the back story to the collapse of APG further muddies the waters on Centrical, with some accepting that the blame lies with the banks, while others cite the way that customers and staff were treated when APG was in its death throes.

Ultimately, it will be customers and suppliers that decide the fate of Centrical and, after the past few months, winning back their trust is going to be a far bigger challenge than shaking the phoenix moniker.


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