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Mascot Printing moves on Sydney Allen

Wednesday, 13 April 2016
By Print 21 Online Article

Mascot Printing has signed a deal to acquire multi-million dollar printing business Sydney Allen, which last week collapsed into a messy receivership that led to disgruntled major creditor Bob McMillan taking action to protect his investment.

'No interruption to supply': Joe PIzzo, MD, Mascot Printing

Mascot managing director Joe Pizzo said his company has entered into a Business Licence Agreement to take over Sydney Allen’s operations and ensure there is no interruption to supply while a comprehensive restructure is completed.

“I can’t comment on the details but what I can say is that we’re here [at Sydney Allen] at the moment trying to keep the business trading,” Pizzo told Print21 on Tuesday. “We are very pleased to have been able to step in and support Sydney Allen. With key staff and management on board and the financial backing of Mascot, we are confident that we will be able to service all Sydney Allen customers without any interruption. Subsequently, we’ll consider purchasing the business and we have an agreement with the administrator but that’s as much as I can tell you at this stage.”

Mascot Printing business advisor Daniel Barrins added that Sydney Allen remained open for business, with the presses running and customer orders being processed.

“We’re looking to keep the business trading as normal as administrators pursue a restructuring and a possible sale of the business – which we may or may not be involved in.”

There are unconfirmed reports that at least one other major printing company may be interested in acquiring Sydney Allen.

Last week’s collapse of the iconic Sydney printing business came as a shock to many and led to major investor Bob McMillan launching immediate action to protect the interests of McMillan Investment Holdings.

'Surprised': Bob McMillan, McMillan Investment Holdings

In a statement, McMillan Investment Holdings said that the receiver Hall Chadwick “did not make clear the priority enjoyed by McMillans”:

Recently the Company [Sydney Allen] has encountered some difficulties. As a result, last Thursday administrators were appointed by its director.  One of the purposes of the administration was to further a trade sale of the Company’s business.

Also last Thursday, Scottish Pacific Business Finance Pty Ltd (“Scottish Pacific”) appointed Hall Chadwick partners Richard Albarran and Brent Kijurina as receivers in relation to the Company, to protect the rights of Scottish Pacific.  Those rights (except for certain book debts) were subordinated to the interests of McMillan Investment Holdings Pty Ltd (“McMillans”), a company associated with Mr Robert McMillan. Mr McMillan OAM, is a leading and well respected figure in the printing industry who has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the industry.

In the course of the receivership, Hall Chadwick did not make clear the priority enjoyed by McMillans, and creditors of the Company may have thought that Scottish Pacific was entitled to realise the whole of the assets of the Company without reference to the interests of McMillans. 

McMillans was surprised by this, and it tended to undermine the Company’s position, so Robert McMillan took action last Friday to clarify the scope of the administrators’ role and the receivers’ role.

 As a result of that action, the administrators are now in control of the Company. Hall Chadwick ceased conducting the business on Friday. They only act now as receivers of the debtors.

“The administrators of the Company have advised that they “… are reviewing the Company’s financial affairs with a view to allowing them to continue trading and thereby preserve the maximum value for all stakeholders”. That may lead in due course to a sale of the business to other interested parties.

A creditors’ meeting has been scheduled for 19 April in Parramatta.

Meanwhile, Sydney Allen MD John Mangos welcomed the move by Mascot Printing. “I am very pleased to have the Mascot team on board and pleased to be getting Sydney Allen back on a sustainable footing,” Mangos said. “We want our customers to know that it is business as usual and we look forward to maintaining our strong working relationship with them.”

Sydney Allen employs more than 50 people, with turnover estimated at $14 million. There’s been no word yet whether there will be any job losses.

Joe Pizzo acquired Mascot Printing in 2000 and has built the business into a mid-sized commercial printer.

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