Paperhat Communications admins step forward, but no word on group companies

By Rhys Handley, Thursday 15 November 2018

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The administrators of Paperhat Communications have been named, but the status of the remaining group companies is still unclear.


Peppiatt has set up "media representation services" firm Ava & Jack

In a brief statement released last night (14 November), Philip Watkins and Tony Wright of London-based insolvency practitioners FRP Advisory confirmed they were joint administrators for Paperhat Communications, a subsidiary of the wider Paperhat Group.

They were appointed, following reported “cashflow issues” at Paperhat Communications, on 9 November, at which time the administrators secured a pre-packaging sale to Paragon Group, which was confirmed to PrintWeek yesterday. All 53 employees at Paperhat Communications transferred in the sale.

Philip Watkins said: “We have worked closely with the directors to secure a sale which delivers the best result for all stakeholders, and importantly saves a significant number of jobs.

“There are good synergies between Paperhat Communications and Paragon Group, and we wish the staff well as they work collaboratively with Paragon Group.”

FRP Advisory had yet to respond to further request for comment at the time of publication, and the situation regarding the rest of the group is currently unclear. 

Paperhat Group chief executive Tim Peppiatt declined to comment "as discussions are ongoing".

Separately, according to Companies House, he registered new company Ava & Jack on 9 November. The nature of business is listed as “media representation services”.

Paragon is now in the process of integrating the trade and assets of £14.5m-turnover Paperhat Communications into its Graphic Services division, the commercial print wing of the group which also includes its Service Point network of digital print centres and onsite facilities.

This will be overseen by Ann Harrington, general manager of Castleford-based Graphic Services subsidiary Print Trade Suppliers, who declined to comment as the process is ongoing.

Paperhat Group grew rapidly from 2010, in a period Peppiatt described as “aggressive expansion” which involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Nirvana CPH, as well as full acquisition of Despark and CTI Digital. The status of these subsidiaries is currently unclear.

Accounts made up to 28 February 2017 indicated a turnover of £26m across Paperhat Group, a decline of 5% on the previous year, and mentioned a “$50m global print management contract” would increase the company’s global presence to 70 countries. The company had posted operating losses for several years. 

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