Snap CBD jobs and centres saved as former boss takes over

The vast majority of staff have been taken on by the new business, and all four centres involved in the administration have returned to normal operation.

Cook was originally appointed chief executive of CBD Printing in February after long-time boss Michael Palmer stepped down from the management role. Palmer remained a major shareholder, while Cook did not have a stake in CBD Printing.

A partner dispute and problems repaying debt drove CBD Printing into administration on 12 September, after which Snap withdrew the franchising agreements.

Cook, an ex-pat Brit who relocated to Australia after selling out of his successful promotional gifts business, Gilt Edge Promotions in the UK, told ProPrint he had actually considered investing in CBD Printing back when he joined, but decided not to for the same reasons that it ultimately failed.

Snap Franchising chief executive Stephen Edwards told ProPrint last week that Cook was not responsible for the issues that pushed the company over the edge. “The problems Richard had was he was putting out fires and trying to handle the dispute and had a cash flow issue because [the partners] weren’t putting capital in.”

CBD Printing remains in administration with insolvency firm William Buck, which did not return ProPrint‘s calls.

A separate business owned by Cook has been awarded franchise agreements for the four Snap locations at the centre of the administration: Pyrmont, O’Connell Street and Martin Place in Sydney and Snap Docklands in Melbourne.

The new business has taken on the former director of CBD Printing, John Budgen, in a business development role.

Stephen Edwards said: “All centres now have a new owner, Richard Cook, staff are working and clients are being serviced. The Snap network is also doing work for major clients. This has been one of our great strengths through this unfortunate situation. 

“We are fortunate to have some great clients who have been very supportive of the Snap Group as whole through this situation,” added Edwards.

The new entity has continued to operate CBD Printing’s fleet of equipment, including its high-end digital presses from Fuji Xerox Australia.

It is unclear what arrangement has been struck with the vendor, which is thought to remain a significant creditor of the business that is in administration, as it did not return calls.

Edwards said: “We are very concerned for creditors and look forward to working with many of them to ensure they continue to get profitable work within the whole Snap group on an ongoing basis.

“This partnership dispute, that has led to an unfortunate administration that included the four Snap centres owned by the partnership, is not an indication of how the Snap Group and all the businesses as a whole are performing.”

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