Melbourne print operation collapses a year after merger

The company started trading in April 2012 following the union of offset business Troedel & Co and digital operation Docucopy.

The exact situation is cloudy. It involves three separate companies, including the two original firms, one of which went into liquidation this week, and the joint venture, which is also now in liquidation.

Troedel-Docucopy was wound up yesterday. Liquidator Andrew Hewitt of Grant Thornton told ProPrint that Troedel-Docucopy was basically a sales and marketing arm for both Troedel & Co and Docucopy, which acted as suppliers.

The offset side, Troedel & Co, which is officially known as William Troedel & Co, was liquidated on 25 June. The position of Docucopy is unclear.

"The operations were contained within their old companies, and the customers and the sales happened out of the joint venture company," said Hewitt.

"Troedel-Docucopy doesn't own any of the assets – it's simply a sales and marketing company. All of the printing equipment still remains in Docucopy or William Troedel & Co."

[Feature: Trial by fire to get financed]

ProPrint was unable to get comments from Troedel & Co director Alastair Troedel or Docucopy director David Shandler. ProPrint reached Alastair Troedel twice, who both times said he was in meetings and unable to talk. Shandler requested questions by email and had not responded by the time of publication.

Grant Thornton's Hewitt said Troedel-Docucopy has three major creditors: the National Australia Bank, Troedel & Co and Docucopy. The bank has a security over the company's debtor book, he said. Hewitt added that any other major creditors would be owed money by the two individual firms rather than the merged company.

Troedel-Docucopy told ProPrint soon after the merger that it had 34 staff. Hewitt said Troedel-Docucopy only had seven people on its books – mostly in sales and marketing – which suggests most of the staff were officially employed by Troedel & Co and Docucopy.

David Vasudevan from Pitcher Partners is liquidator of Troedel & Co, and said the offset printer was owed $300,000-$500,000 by the merged company. Those debts played a significant role in its collapse, said Vasudevan.

He told ProPrint it was too early to give an idea of Troedel & Co's debts or what sort of return creditors could expect.

Vasudevan said he would sell the firm's major assets, which includes a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster 74, two-colour Heidelberg GTO 52 and one-colour GTO 52. Troedel & Co also had a five-colour Speedmaster 52 under lease.

[Related: More Victorian news]

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