Creditors of Premier Print Group have voted overwhelmingly to accept a CVA at the firm after the pandemic hit sales at the business.
The sheetfed printer, based in east London, specialises in short-run, fast turnaround magazine and booklet printing.
The family-owned firm is run by brothers Darren and Gary Goodson.
Darren Goodson told Printweek: “Basically it’s all down to the pandemic. The business has been going for something like 38 years and been through three or four different recessions. But our workload went right down because of the pandemic.
“In 2019 we grew by around 25% and we were really motoring. Then the pandemic hit at the end of March 2020. Our turnover was down by 70% at one point, and the various lockdowns came and went and business just didn’t come back,” he explained.
Premier Print Group had also installed a second RMGT SRA1-format press at the end of 2019 in anticipation of continued growth.
“At the beginning of this year our landlord increased the rent by 50% and wanted to backdate it to March 2020, and that was the final straw,” Goodson added.
After a meeting last month creditors have now approved a CVA with nearly 97% of creditors by value voting in favour of the move.
The three biggest creditors: Agfa, Middleton Paper and Marlowe Digital all voted in favour. Antalis was the only creditor to vote against the move.
When creditors connected to the business were removed from the calculation the percentage in favour was still 94%.
“Creditors all understood the situation,” Goodson said. “We’d put a lot of money into the business but we didn’t see any end in sight and couldn’t just carry on.”
Richard Rones of ThorntonRones is supervising the CVA. The terms were not disclosed.
Goodson said Premier Print was now operating a hybrid model, with customer service, marketing and mailing operating from Bow, and production moved to a more affordable site in Essex, based around a single RMGT 924 four-colour SRA1 LED-UV press, with stitching and guillotining, and then using outsourcing at peak periods as required.
He said activity at the firm’s customers was beginning to pick up again and it intended to grow the mailing side of the business.
Premier has vacated its former 1,400sqm unit at London Industrial Park where the rent went up.
Pre-pandemic the firm employed more than 20 staff and had grown sales to more than £3m.
Fellow London print business Push Print recently said it would be calling in liquidators, while another east London print firm, Matthews the Printers decided to shut down in March after its work for the hospitality sector dried up and the financial drain became unsustainable.