Avon Graphics pulls out of Protectaprint bid

The future of Melbourne trade finishing house, Protectaprint Melbourne Pty Ltd, remains unclear after Avon Graphics walked away from its offer to buy the embattled operation at the eleventh hour.

Protectaprint is understood to be in debt over $1m, including a large sum in several hundreds of thousands to the Australian Taxation Office and also a substantial triple figure sum to a supplier plus a group of smaller creditors.

A special resolution was passed last month to wind-up Protectaprint but continue to run it “business as usual” while Cor Cordis administrators continued to the search for a prospective buyer of the business or its assets.

Avon Graphics, which also provides trade print finishing and laminating services, put in an offer for the business and its assets but managing director Tate Hone says that offer was withdrawn last week.

“We had a very serious offer on the table but we walked away at the 11th hour unfortunately,” Hone told Sprinter.

Protectaprint went from having about 15 staff two years ago when it was established by brothers Richard and Steven Wilkinson who bought it off Allkotes in 2017 and rebranded it to the name they had traded under in Adelaide to five currently.

Another business with a similar name – Protectaprint Victoria Pty Ltd – was registered with ASIC in March 2019 and remains an active registration.

Both Hone and fellow trade print finishing operator Barry Webster from TLC Digital put Protectaprint’s troubles down to entering a new market and rapidly slashing prices to unsustainable levels with both saying the strategy had not served the business or the industry well.

Protectaprint began offering trade finishing and laminating services in Melbourne in 2017 when brothers Richard and Steven Wilkinson purchased the Victorian branch of Allkotes and rebranded the business.

The brothers had previously operated Protectaprint in South Australia but had sold out to Opus Group’s McPhersons in 2015 but decided to get back in the game with the 2017 purchase of the Allkotes division.

A resolution to wind up the business was passed in January.

Sprinter has contacted Cor Cordis for an update but had not heard back at time of publication.

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