Bournemouth Colour Press appoints liquidators

By Rhys Handley, Wednesday 28 March 2018

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Bournemouth Colour Press has gone into voluntary liquidation, citing a problematic takeover and £35,000 in bad debt, with its director setting up a new company, Bournemouth Creative Print.

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Bournemouth Colour Press' assets were sold to Bournemouth Creative Print in February

PrintWeek has been shown documents confirming the Poole-based printer’s statement of affairs, signed off by sole director Ian Shenton, nominating Exeter-based insolvency firm Francis Clark as liquidator.

According to The Gazette, Stephen Hobson and Lucinda Coleman of Francis Clark were officially appointed on 13 March. The appointment was filed on Monday, 26 March.

In Shenton’s statement, the company’s failure was attributed  to three factors: costs incurred by the takeover of failing connected company James Byrne Printing; bad debt incurred from neighbouring printer Kairos Print and direct mailer FT Solutions totalling £35,000; and a winding-up petition from a supplier forcing the company to pay £25,000 up front in January.

Shenton had bought James Byrne from its retiring owner Anthony Beck in 2015 and Bournemouth Colour Press took over some of James Byrne’s finance, debts and costs in April 2017 when the firm fell into liquidation. Shenton wrote that he “strongly believed we could turn it around”.

According to Shenton’s statement, cashflow was still “tight” at the end of 2017 and he wrote to suppliers requesting more time in which to pay them back. One responded by issuing a winding-up petition demanding £25,000 by 31 January. Mid-January saw the bad debt owed to FT Solutions and its sister FT Mail and, later the same month, Kairos, come to light.

In his statement, Shenton said this left a "huge void in the cashflow and I had already loaned everything I had personally to the company over the last 10 months, so I was left with no alternative but to take specialist advice".

Documents were sent to creditors on 8 March showing that Shenton was in the process of placing the company in voluntary liquidation.

In the statement, Francis Clark stated that the company’s unencumbered assets had been disposed of during the 12 months prior to liquidation.

Bournemouth Creative Print, a company registered in Southampton at which Shenton is the sole director, was officially incorporated on 17 January 2018. It bought Bournemouth Colour Press’ unencumbered assets for £7,500 on 22 February.

Chattel assets acquired from James Byrne, and those on finance from Compass Finance, were also novated to Bournemouth Creative Print. Prior to being officially appointed, Francis Clark said it would investigate both transactions in due course.

At the time of liquidation, Bournemouth Colour Press had 65 creditors to the total of £997,754. This included finance due to Gener8 Finance for book debts (£68,110), Close Brothers for its plant and machinery (£340,000) and Xerox Finance for printing equipment (£180,000).

A further £51,000 was due to 15 staff, with Shenton listed among them. In management accounts from 1 May 2017 to 19 February 2018, the firm had sales of £1.3m, with a trading loss of £240,000.

Neither the liquidator Francis Clark nor Shenton had responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

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