Starleaton makes additional statement about voluntary administration

Above: Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton

After yesterday’s open letter to the industry, Starleaton has provided further background on its business’ past, present, and future on the company’s website.

“After navigating a challenging 2023, Starleaton, a leading wide-format provider, has successfully avoided liquidation, marking a pivotal moment with the implementation of a DOCA (deed of company arrangement). This achievement signals a profound turnaround for the company,” the company said in a statement published on the Starleaton website.

The statement continued:

Fulfillment of Employee Entitlements

Established in 1978, Starleaton faced voluntary administration on 18 January of this year. The approval of the DOCA, achieved by a narrow margin with the administrator’s decisive vote, stands as a significant triumph for the Eaton family and the committed staff. This agreement ensures the fulfillment of all employee entitlements, including unpaid superannuation, albeit over a potential two-year period for full disbursement.

Making Good on Past Commitments

While unsecured creditors may recover only a portion of their dues, the DOCA presents a more favourable outcome compared to liquidation. Despite initial scepticism, the acceptance of the DOCA was bolstered by an $800,000 contribution from company founders Peter and Leanne Eaton, as well as Starleaton Pty Ltd. Ben Eaton’s commitment to allocate $33,000 per month for 24 months underscores a dedication to revitalising operations.

“The proposed business restructuring, focusing on core consumable sales with a streamlined footprint and workforce reduction, positions us optimally to fulfill our obligations going forward,” Ben Eaton said.

“While liquidation might have seemed easier with the FEG scheme covering staff entitlements, it was not an acceptable outcome, as it would have yielded no returns for other creditors. The intent behind entering into the DOCA is to honour the company’s past commitments, particularly in regard to staff entitlements, in their entirety. We are actively engaging with individual unsecured parties to achieve a mutually beneficial resolution. The DOCA grants us the opportunity to collaborate with suppliers and make good where we can,” he said.

Strategic Business Restructuring

The restructuring under the DOCA will streamline Starleaton’s operations, focusing solely on consumables and closing all warehouses except the one in Sydney. While this marks a shift from its previous scope, it positions the company for renewed stability and growth.

In the competitive landscape of the sign and display sector, Starleaton’s resilience shines through. Despite recent challenges, the company is poised to leverage its expertise and adaptability to thrive in the evolving market.

Despite the swift adjustments made by particularly large international competitors, Starleaton remains unwavering in its commitment to employees and stakeholders. With a renewed focus and strategic direction, Starleaton is primed to emerge strong, reaffirming its position as a prominent player in the industry.

For further information or enquiries, please feel free to contact Starleaton. Our team is ready to assist you with any questions you may have regarding our recent developments and strategic initiatives.

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