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Chippendale given the chop by administrators

Tuesday, 20 April 2010
By Print 21 Online Article

No rescue package from private equity owners, Helmsman, or mooted merger with fellow busted printer, Beaver, came to save the iconic Sydney company.

Following weeks of rumour, the carnage currently sweeping across the Sydney printing industry claimed another high-profile victim with the closure of Chippendale. Despite last minute efforts to keep the failing company afloat, its PE owners admitted defeat and appointed Taylor Woodings as administrators.

As is becoming accepted practice, the administrators promptly sent the workers home and shut down the plant. Rumour that the company had recently landed some lucrative contracts is not borne out by the immediate closure apart from a skeleton staff.

A creditors meeting will be held on Friday, 30 of April.

“Over the coming days, we will investigate Chippendale’s financial affairs. Following this, we will be in a position to determine the best way forward for the company,” said Taylor Woodings Partner, Quentin Olde. “We will work with the management to determine the best outcome for all stakeholders.”

The company was sold two years ago to the PE turnaround specialists by Barbara Gardiner, widow of founder Ed Gardiner, and long-time employee Phil Hanks. At the time it was the only site in the world with two 12-colour MAN Roland 700 perfecting presses operating side by side.

Since then it has struggled with bad luck as well as its high levels of capitalisation. Earlier this year Hanks moved to Paragon Printers Australasia, while former-McMillan manager, Dennis Cooper, who had joined as a consultant late last year, passed away in April

Chippendale is the second high profile printer to hit the wall in a matter of weeks. There was a mooted merger with fellow sufferer, Beaver Press, but that came to nothing.

It reinforces that there is no point in putting two loss-making businesses together – you only end up with a bigger black hole.

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