Worldwide Online Printing bought out of administration

Administrators McGrath Nicol announced last night that it had reached an agreement with Doublewest Corporation on 3 June for the sale of the national franchisor business.

In a statement, McGrath Nicol said: “Doublewest is a company associated with Crystal Printing Solutions Pty Ltd which trades as Worldwide Online Printing Cannington, which took over Worldwide’s WA manufacturing hub shortly after the administrators” appointment to Worldwide on 25 February 2010.”

Crystal Printing, which trades as Worldwide Online Printing Cannington, began running Worldwide’s WA production hub shortly after the voluntary administration began on 25 February – 14 weeks ago.

The sale is conditional on a proposed Deed of Company Arrangement being accepted by Worldwide creditors at a creditors’ meeting to be held on or around 24 June.

McGrath Nicol said the sale was expected to be completed on 1 July 2010.

According to the administrators, Crystal Printing Solutions will remain an exclusive supplier to Worldwide. They added that other strategic partnerships will be formed with trade suppliers “to ensure the franchise network has ongoing supply”.

According to its website, Crystal Printing is based in Cannington, Perth, employs more than 50 staff and has a turnover in excess of $10m.

The website lists its offset and digital production capabilities as including a Xerox 8000, an A3 two-colour Heidelberg press, an A3 four-colour Heidelberg press, an A3 Ryobi press and its “flagship” A2, eight-colour Heidelberg perfector. It also lists a range of finishing equipment. chief executive Tony Rafferty responded to the announcement by expressing his “regret that the ‘Stangeland Consortium’ hadn’t been successful”.

Rafferty revealed that had been one of the principal members of this unsuccessful bidder.

The consortium was led by John Stangeland, the former WA master franchiser for Worldwide Online Printing, who only this week revealed he had been awarded the option to set up in Australia.

Rafferty said that while he was “disappointed” that the consortium had been unsuccessful, he “was categorical that would now enter the Australian market and that he and John Stangeland would release details of their ‘low-cost’ franchise at 9am Monday 7 June 2010”.

The chief exec also gave an insight into his proposed strategy for Worldwide.

“The Stangeland plans included the proposal to reduce franchise royalties to a sustainable level and that this reduction was a pre-requisite for involvement,” said Rafferty.

Rafferty claimed that currently a typical $700,000-turnover franchise in Australia might pay circa $70,000 for royalty, IT, marketing and the like, “whereas a similar franchisee in the UK would be paying less than half”.

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