The Canberra print community has taken a major hit with the demise of Paragon Printing, as many of them were suppliers to the collapsed printer. Smaller digital print businesses have been especially hard hit, with many of them owed tens of thousands of dollars that they are unlikely to see much of. Paragon used many of them as the manufacturing arm of its Paragon Rapid digital printing business. Paragon Rapid was essentially just a trading name, it had no production equipment, and was established as owner Mel Dalgleish tried in vain to diversify as government offset work diminished.
Paragon owed some $3.3m at the time of its collapse, with almost half of that owed to the big paper merchants, who were effectively bankrolling the business. KW Doggett was in for $420,000, Spicers for $315,000, BJ Ball $300,000 and Direct paper $190,000. The administrators have yet to release a report but it looks like unsecured creditors will struggle to get anything more than a derisory amount back. AP understands the Paragon building is owned by Mel Dalgleish’s super fund so is likely untouchable. The two Heidelberg presses are not new, they would be approaching ten years old and as such will not make much a dent in the debt. Meanwhile disgruntled former employees have been calling Australian Printer claiming they have received no super for the past 18 months. According to the staff they had no idea the business was about to close, they were unaware of any major contracts being lost, and were in shock when the rocked up for work to find the doors closed.
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