Time is running out for Sands Print
Administrators are confident the beleaguered 150-year-old print group will be liquidated and sold within the next few weeks. Lawler Draper Dillon is negotiating with three preferred offers out of seven that were considered to be serious to buy the printer.
The company is still trading, orders are still flowing in, and bills are being paid. According the Jason Stone, Lawler Draper Dillon’s forensic accounting specialist, if there are no successful bids by the second creditors’ meeting on 18 May, the sale process will be adjourned for a month.
Stone, said all hard offers the administrator has received are from printers. “Most offers have come from Victorian printers, but some are interstate. Our preferred option will see the majority of Sands Print’s 80 staff taken on by the new owner.
“Despite the reduction in sales that resulted in trading losses – the reason Sands Print Group went into voluntary administration – we have had the support of the stakeholders involved to continue to trade,” he said.
The administrators have kept in regular communication with Sand’s employees, assuring them that even if a purchaser is not found, there are sufficient assets to meet their entitlements. If not, the Government scheme GEERS can be called upon.
Only the assets of the business are up for sale.
“There are customers that owe money. The company has invoiced those debtors and they are paying on a regular basis. We have continued to trade for the six weeks since we were appointed, and are continuing to receive orders from those customers,” said Stone.
He claims the Melbourne-based printer has not lost any customers despite going into voluntary liquidation, but it has felt the pinch of declining work orders.
Sands Print Group is one of the oldest and best-established printing groups within the industry, generally regarded as being very well run. Its demise has sent shivers throughout the wider industry. There is a sense that if Sands can go so can any well-run company.