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Digital press stoush claims 5 Star unit

Thursday, 27 August 2015
By Print21
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A long-running dispute over a digital printer at one of South Australia’s largest print companies hit the fan this week as Graf-X – trading as 5 Star Print – went into voluntary administration.

Amid the sound and fury of claims and counter claims, Carolyn Cagney, managing director of award-winning 5 Star Print at Netley in Adelaide’s south west, says she was forced to wind up the Graf-X entity because of the dispute but maintains the 5 Star Print business is continuing under another entity – Tone Block. She blames the digital press, a NexPress, for forcing the closure of the business, a claim vigorously denied by the supplier.

According to the supplier, the press was certified by the manufacturer as “100 percent in working condition” and it has since been sold on behalf of the company in administration.

“There’s nothing wrong with the machine as far as we’re concerned,” said a spokesman. “We believe most of the trouble came from operator error. The manufacturer has looked at the machine and found nothing wrong and a buyer has been found. I’d be very disappointed if it hasn’t been recognised that we have done all that we can.”

Carolyn Cagney, 5 Star Print

Cagney said the voluntary administration of  Graf-X is entirely legal “because Graf-X was involved in the original purchase. This has cost me millions and millions of dollars. The trouble started four years ago when I bought a digital printer at a trade show. We had budgeted that the new machine would generate about $1.2 million dollars worth of business each year but it has done nothing.

“I can’t identify the press and I can’t name the supplier because the matter is now with the lawyers,” she said. “But the machine was atrocious and the work it produced was not commercially acceptable.  We got a lemon and it has caused us so much grief and almost destroyed part of the company. It has cost me more than $800,000 in payments and $300,000 in click rates but most of that work jammed in the machine or went into the bin.

“I just want my money back.  The problem is that one company sold it to us but another company was responsible for the service contract and their techs couldn’t get it running.  They said they’d pick it up two weeks ago and it’s still sitting here in the corner and turned off. If it was the only machine that we had then we wouldn’t even have a company but luckily we bought a couple of Fuji Xerox digital machines and they’ve been fantastic,” said Cagney.

Administrators BRI Ferrier have called the first meeting of creditors of the company Graf-X Ltd, which formerly traded as 5 Star Print, on 01 September in Adelaide, according to an ASIC notice. Items on the agenda include: whether to appoint a committee of creditors; and proof of debt and proxies.  Appointed administrators Andre Strazdins & Stuart Otway of BR Ferrier have been unavailable for comment.

Over the past 22 years, 5 Star Print has grown from a two-person operation to being one of the largest print companies in South Australia, with a staff about 40.

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