Huber Group has bought the stock and assets of Pressroom Plus in an effort to keep the collapsed consumable reseller's customers in continuous supply.
Completed on Tuesday (5 March), the deal with administrator Smith Cooper means that Huber, via its UK network of resellers, will take full responsibility for the sale and supply of its own ink and varnish products to Pressroom's former customers.
A longstanding dealer-supplier arrangement between Huber and Pressroom ceased at the time that Pressroom went into administration.
Nottingham-headquartered Huber Group UK is currently in advanced negotiations with an unidentified “UK-wide network dealer” to take on responsibility for the remaining products in Pressroom’s portfolio, such as Trelleborg blankets, which Huber does not deal in.
Industry sources said J&G Environmental has been tipped to step in, but the firm had not commented at the time of writing.
“It has been quite a tough week,” said Huber UK sales director Paul English. “The print sector is a very small industry; therefore, it is important that nobody’s name gets tarnished in this process and the way to ensure that is keeping customers supplied and happy.
“From an ink point of view, this is not a problem for us, but we do hope that the rest of Pressroom Plus’ portfolio can be picked up by other dealers.
“We want to assure customers that we are working hard to ensure they get a continuation of products and we will be in touch to make the situation clear.”
Dean Nelson and Nick Lee of Smith Cooper were appointed joint administrators of Pressroom Plus on 15 February after the business suffeerd a reportedly “awful” January. A buyer was sought for the business as a going concern, but the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful.
According to English, Pressroom managing director Ian Richardson left the business early in the administration process.
Nelson said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this case. Unfortunately, a purchaser for the business [as a going concern] could not be found, but we did have several expressions of interest for the stock and assets, and at the conclusion of the process, Huber Group were identified as the preferred bidder.
“After conducting rigorous negotiations, the sale was concluded.”
With the firm’s stock and assets sold to Huber, and due to be passed on in part further, all staff have now been made redundant and the administrators will completely dissolve the Pressroom Plus brand.
An informed source told PrintWeek: “Pressroom Plus folding is a game-changer for the market. A big reshuffle is going on.”
The firm was believed to be the UK’s biggest independently-owned consumables dealer and describes its offering as a “one stop shop” for litho, digital and screen printers. It had premises in both Colchester and Nottingham with 19 total staff.