Five Star shuts doors and appoints administrators

High profile Adelaide print shop Five Star Print has closed its doors and ceased operations after it was placed into voluntary administration.

Administrators Andrejs Janis Strazdins and Maris Andris Rudaks from Bri Ferrier have been appointed to the South Australian printer, which is listed as Toneblock Pty Ltd.

According to Rudaks, Five Star has been locked out of its Netley premises by the landlord and employees asked to leave.

All operations have now ceased; it is listed as permanently closed online; its website is no longer functioning; and its phone line is disconnected.

A meeting of creditors has been scheduled for Thursday June 2, and administrators told ProPrint the agenda of the meeting may be to strike a deal with creditors to allow Five Star to continue trading.

However, Rudaks says at this stage there has been no indication of such a proposal, and in the absence of a deal the company will then fall into liquidation.

Five Star Print is owned by Carolyn Cagney. In 2000, Cagney formed digital print company Printx, and then bought out offset printer Five Star Press in 2003 before merging the two companies into Five Star Print.

Cagney was often in conflict with established printers in Adelaide, and took a fair amount of criticism from the local trade – in part she claimed because she was a woman running a print business. She struck back thorugh a column in ProPrint two years ago which resonated throughout the industry.

Five Star had trouble with a digital press it bought a couple of years ago  which the company says caused it millions of dollars in lost business and forced its division Graf-X into administration. Cagney blamed the press, the supplier countered claiming Five Star's operators were the problem. It is unclear whether the loss Cagney attributed to the printer helped push Five Star itself into administration.

Five Star, once one of the largest print companies in South Australia, employed a workforce of some 40 staff. It was a regular award winner.

Cagney had tried to go for niche markets as well as commercial offset, in addition to the ill fated digital venture she put in a Heidelberg 105XL six years ago to enter the local packaging market.

Adelaide's print markert is ferociously competitive in a local economy which has been struggling, missing out on both the mining boom of WA and Qld and the latter day property boom in NSW and VIC. Local business is hoping the new $50bn submarine contract will kickstart the economy, with printers likely to be the first to benefit.

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20 thoughts on “Five Star shuts doors and appoints administrators

  1. And yet another company has gone, with low margins on print more & more printers are finding it hard to make ends meet. This is not a sign of the times this is the stupidity of printers doing the jobs at what the customer wants it for not what the real value including mark up is.

    1. That’s a pretty ignorant statement. Look at the history of this company – the link’s even in the article – this is a company brought undone by a dodgy press.

    2. The original article was pretty informative about how & why. But would be good to hear both sides of the story of course.

    3. Ever thought about the number of print businesses in Australia. May be we need to get used to companies merging and closing down, as the market is “right sizing”. I’m currently In Germany to visit Drupa and I have not seen one franchise print shop. Germany has four times the population of Australia and a neighbouring population that is easily 3 times the population of Australia. Yet we have a print shop every two kilometres in Sydney and Melbourne

  2. funny how many of these digital machines gave caused so much grief to many companies i have seen it first hand machines not delivering what was promised

  3. Funny though, first the Indigo wasn’t up to speed, which made them purchase a Nexpress. Then the Nexpress wasn’t performing and they bought a Fuji Xerox. Strange, as many companies make very good profit with these types of machines. What about the Heidelberg presses that replaced the Komori? May be a commitment that was a little to large for the local market? One faulty digital press wouldn’t push such a company over the cliff IMO

  4. You think I am ignorant, if you you think one digital press can cause millions of dollars in lost revenue I think you have no grasp on reality

  5. Terry, you are wrong. If you rely on your digital press to perform and it doesn’t then you are in big trouble. If the machine is down, you are still paying for the machine and staff. Production gets backlog and customers get angry. We had 2 x FUJI XEROX running and it was consistently down every second day. We have CANON machines now (YES CANON! BELIEVE IT OR NOT) and it breaks down once a week or fortnight. Downtime is a killer for all of us.

  6. Actually its the stupidity of the businesses following the market down for no reason than someone else has lowered prices.

    We recently saw a trade supplier start selling to end users for 20% less than the current market value of a product currently selling at a trade only price and advertised in the trade press.

    We had a broker come in panic striken, his current supplier couldn’t match the price and ne needed to, my clients would go elsewhere he screamed. So was running around the place trying to get someone to match this stupid price.

    I told him that not all clients were worth having, making $100 on a $1000 job isn’t the pathway to success

  7. If I had a digital press that was not performing I would have that company replace it or take it back or wheel it outside and let a semi run through it. You just can’t persist with new machines that won’t do what the manufacturer says it can do.

  8. Jeez Terry if only you had been around to advise Five Star. Why didn’t they think of any of those things? You should be a print consultant.

    Just maybe they got stuck with a lemon the press manufacturer and servicing company (two very separate organisations) refused to take responsibility for.

    And maybe it cost them a lot of money, if not the $6m quoted in earlier articles, then something significant – let’s say $2m. Do you know any print company in Australia who could take a $2-6m hit and survive, aside from BS and IPMG?

  9. The Indigo didn’t send them broke though.

    Look if they went broke with no warning and blamed a press I’d be skeptical too, but this has been a pretty well documented affair – unless there is a better explanation than “they wasn’t charging enough” then we’d have to taken them at their word.

  10. And how much will the nexpress sell for at auction? Love to see the sale price and if it will work properly at it’s new home

  11. Guys I’m going to give my 10c worth of it helps having had 3 nexpress’s now I can say that the Nexpress is not for everyone. You need to take ownership and regularly maintain the press daily. Sometimes 1/2 hr sometimes 1.5hrs.
    That’s how you get best results.
    My experience has been challenging at times to say the least due to us always getting latest Kodak technology and upgrades. We e counter problems we have encountered issues that needed to be addressed with Rochester but Kodak have NEVER walked away from a problem. That’s why we are still with them.
    The duty of care we provide the machine the consistent Kodak nexpress best practice we maintain allows us to get the best out of our press.
    I feel for Five Star but I do know the press went overseas and my direct contact with the company confirms its performing well.
    I hope that clears things (from my perspective)

    1. Theo in Sydney you are serviced by Kodak. In Adelaide the servicing was subbed to Konica Minolta. I’d suggest that would be the difference between owning a challenging but well-supported machine, and a challenging machine where no one will take responsibility for any issues that may arise.

  12. Hey Banksy Kodak definitely serviced the Five Star press at all times. KM were the distributors at the time and sold the Nexpress (as a re-seller) to them)

  13. if any one wants to contact me fro pro print please feel free i will give an honest detailed rundown of what really happened

    0458188131 James

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