Liquidators move in at defunct AdType Colour

Managing director Paul Middleton, who now runs a digital printing company on the same site, started winding down the company in March last year.

Middleton said he has been slowly paying off AdType’s debts out of his own pocket.

He told ProPrint he sold his house to pay off debts in the vicinity of $110,000. Middleton said he began winding down after the company suffered from “a lot of bad debts”. This wind-down was completed in August 2009.

“AdType was making plates for printers, and that’s where it fell over,” he said. “A lot of printers went into administration, and we struck a lot of debts.”

PPB Chartered Accountants were appointed liquidators on 1 April 2010 after insurance company Allianz applied for a Supreme Court order. The insurer is attempting to realise the debt of an unpaid worker’s compensation premium.

Middleton, who estimated that AdType’s debts currently stand at $27,000, expressed frustration at Allianz’s actions.

“AdType has tried to pay its debts,” he said. “I’m just amazed at how things have turned out.”

Middleton has gone on to be the managing director of Gecko Print, a digital printing company based on the former site of AdType in the suburb of Artarmon. Tony Batty and Stuart Frame are directors at Gecko, positions they also held at AdType.

Middleton said that while AdType did “dabble” in digital printing, the two businesses are “totally different”.

Gecko has been renting equipment still officially owned by AdType, including a Konica Minolta Bizhub C6500 press. The sale of these assets, as well as several pieces of disused equipment such as a platesetter, will be used to realise Allianz’s debt, as well as the debts of other unpaid creditors.

Liquidator Jeff Noake told ProPrint that PPB is commencing its investigation of AdType’s financial records to establish whether Gecko obtained any kind of “advantage” in the rental of AdType equipment.

Noake added that PPB would also try to establish when exactly the business ceased trading, though emphasised that the liquidator was only just beginning its enquiries into the business.

“The major thrust of our enquiry will be ‘did the business have any value at the time it was wound down’, and if so ‘has anyone obtained any benefit’ from that,” he said.

“That’s what we have to find out, to see whether any persons have got some advantage that they haven’t paid anything for,” added Noake.

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