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Stoush over Embassy going bust

Tuesday, 09 August 2011
By Print 21 Online Article

A bitter disagreement between present and former owners of Melbourne printer, Embassy Press, is likely to head to court after today’s creditor’s meeting.

The new owners of the long-established printing company – 52 years – called in HLB Mann Judd as liquidators on August 1, claiming they were unable to get the business to trade profitably. Craig Dykes and Ryan Paternott bought Embassy Press in 2010 from long-term owners, Robert Gemmel and John Israel.

They claim they were not aware of the full trading situation of the company. “There was too much baggage and skeletons in the closet to continue trading,” said Paternott.

The company’s Knoxfield manufacturing premises are now closed with the loss of 18 jobs. Dykes and Patternott continue to trade under a new business name, Embassy Press Aust, from premises in Docklands.

The former owners, Gemmel and Israel, remained with the business on a workout scheme of payment. They claim they face bankruptcy as their personal guarantees are still in effect. Israel claims the new owners have walked away from their debts.

“This is a warning to any print owners that when you sell your business, ensure that all monies are paid up front, and that you don’t sell your business on terms of being paid over a period of time,” said Israel. “Ensure that all guarantees are removed.”

Unsecured creditors are owed around $729K, with $171K owed to paper merchants. Trade suppliers and the ATO are also awaiting the dicision from the creditors meeting today.

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