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150 redundancies at Leicester printers Taylor Bloxham

150 redundancies at Leicester printers Taylor Bloxham

- in PRINTERS

A Leicester print firm which has been trading for 80 years has closed most of its operations with the loss of 150 jobs.

Taylor Bloxham Group called in administrators on Thursday after failing to find buyers for its print, point of sale and e-commerce logistics divisions.

A buyer has been found for a mailshot division called Mailbox, saving 21 jobs.

The family-owned business had faced mounting pressures following “severe cash flow pressures” following losses of almost £900,000 in 2018.

The business had four sites in Leicestershire, including its headquarters in Beaumont Leys.

The divisions which had closed are: Taylor Bloxham, which provided printing solutions to a wide range of businesses; Instore, which specialised in point of sale displays; and FastAnt, a warehousing, distribution and e-commerce division.

In recent years, blue chip clients had included Bentley, Crown Paints and BAFTA.

One worker said staff were furious to be told they were being laid off a day before they were due to be paid.

He told LeicestershireLive: “They made us work a full month before laying us off the day before payday.

“We worked five weeks for nothing. Our treatment at the hands of this company has been a total disgrace. I have worked for them for 24 years and am now on the scrapheap at 58.

“We have been told to collect our things on monday at 10.30 am. And now face a struggle to get the money we are owed.”

John Lowe and Ben Woolrych, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP, were appointed as the joint administrators.

Taylor Bloxham factory

In a statement FRP said: “The company has suffered severe cashflow pressures, which had become unsustainable in recent months following a period of losses and a tightening of supplier terms.

“FRP had been working with the directors of the company on an accelerated sale process with the aim of securing a sale for the entire business and had received interest from several parties.

“However, ultimately, an appropriate offer was only received for the Mailbox division for which a sale has been completed, protecting 21 jobs.

“On appointment, the administrators have been forced to close the remaining divisions of the business and take the difficult decision to make all 150 employees redundant.

“The joint administrators will now focus on maximising returns for creditors through selling the remaining assets of the business and providing support for all affected employees.”

Taylor Bloxham Printers in Beaumont Leys

Mr Lowe said: “Taylor Bloxham has been a part of the Leicester business community for over 80 years but, despite the best efforts of the management team, has been forced to close with immediate effect.

“While we are pleased to have been able to safeguard 21 jobs through the sale of the Mailbox division of the company, the closure of the rest of the business has resulted in 150 people being made redundant.

“We will work with the Redundancy Payments Service to provide support at what we know will be a difficult time for all those affected.”

Most recent accounts for the group showed losses of around £870,000 in the year to September 2018, due to “falling margins and increased overheads”.

Turnover was £29.2 million.

The business said that while the first part of that year started positively, trading conditions deteriorated in the second six months.

It also reported an “unstoppable” rise in paper prices.

Last May, Taylor Bloxham Group brought in Teresa-Anne Dunleavy as chief executive, replacing Robert Lockwood who became non-executive director following a period of ill health.

Ms Dunleavy had worked in chief executive roles at several large international companies and held senior advisory roles for leading global brands including British Airways, Toyota and Nintendo.

She is a specialist in working with companies undergoing significant structural and cultural change.

In the two years prior to that, the business had made big investments in new equipment and premises in a bid to stay the “forefront of print and communications technology”.

Back then Ms Dunleavy had said: “These are turbulent times with much uncertainty for UK businesses.

“However, the fact that Taylor Bloxham’s heritage as a premium printer has successfully diversified into strategically complementary services presents exciting opportunities for growth.

“We have superb foundations to build from and I’m delighted to be part of the next phase of growth.”

[“source=leicestermercury”]