Hollywood Monster chairman Tim Andrews has spoken out about his shock and sadness at the collapse of long-standing client Carillion.
The Birmingham large-format print specialist had worked for the construction and outsourcing group for almost 20 years.
Andrews told PrintWeek: “We did the original rebrand from Tarmac to Carillion, and have been a tier one supplier ever since. We did every bit of on-site branding for them, and it’s extremely sad to lose such a long-standing client.”
He said that his company would not be left with a substantial bad debt as a result of Carillion going into liquidation. And in contrast to numerous suppliers that have slated Carillion’s record for late payment, Andrews said that had not been Hollywood Monster’s experience.
“They were always a very good client to us. It’s always easy to blame large companies for not paying, but if you haven’t go your systems right that will happen. If you quote the right details, you will get paid,” he added.
“They don’t owe us that much, certainly not a large amount or something that would be threatening to the business.”
Andrews said that Hollywood Monster’s focus now was on replacing the Carillion sales volume, which had most recently accounted for around £250,000 of business for the £8m turnover, 75 staff company. In prior years the amount of Carillion work had peaked at £800,000, but fluctuated depending on the number of projects Carillion was involved with.
While Andrews was aware that Carillion was in trouble, the enormity of the group’s predicament and the move into immediate liquidation had still come as a shock.
“From a West Midlands point-of-view it’s very sad. They had 20,000 workers and a high proportion were in the West Midlands. A lot of families will be affected,” Andrews added.
“It’s not good news whichever way you look at it, but perhaps ultimately it will give us some new opportunities.”
Unite the Union assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail has called for government assistance to prevent huge job losses among the business’s supply base. “The government has a moral duty to provide direct financial assistance as well as other support in order to ensure that sub-contractors and suppliers don’t needlessly go to the wall, with thousands of workers potentially losing their jobs,” she said.
Carillion is understood to owe around £1bn to its suppliers and sub-contractors, with as many as 30,000 businesses estimated to be affected. The overall extent of the printing industry’s exposure to Carillion is unlikely to become clear for some time.