Finance

Stricken print company’s assets bought by former customer to aid expansion plan

Assets of a family owned West Yorkshire printing company, forced to close after more than 50 years when orders dried up in the pandemic, have been acquired by a former customer.

Efforts to keep Kuhnel Graphics afloat last month failed, leading to a competitive bidding process for the equipment it operated with in Ossett.

Fellow regional firm Zebra Print, launched in Pudsey in 2006, topped a competitive bidding process, with the additional capacity to support expansion plans.

Read more: Yorkshire expansion plans for latest generation to take a stake in the fruit and veg wholesale market

James Sleight and Oliver Collinge of PKF GM were appointed as joint administrators of second-generation Kuhnel on September 14.

They said cash flow implications brought on by the pandemic-induced downturn meant administration was a necessity for the business, which served commercial and retail customers across the UK.

The duo initially traded the business to fulfill existing orders while also exploring further options for the company and its business.

Joint Administrator James Sleight said: “Ultimately due to the effect of the administration of the company we were never going to be in a position to trade the business for a long period and time therefore ran out to be able to sell the business as a going concern and preserve the jobs of the company’s workforce.

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“The sale of the business assets to Zebra Print, however, avoided the need for the assets to be sold piecemeal at auction and gives the administration outcome certainty which helps maximise the return to creditors. The business will survive albeit in a different form.

“I’m pleased that Zebra Print, another Yorkshire family firm, will ensure continuity of supply for many customers and wish them all the best. I’d also like to thank Kuhnel’s dedicated team who have supported us during this difficult time as well as its customers and suppliers.”

Samantha Overton, joint managing director of Zebra, said: “Zebra Print is pleased to acquire the assets of Kuhnel Graphics. We’ve been a customer for a number of years. This deal will support our expansion plans after seeing significant growth despite the uncertain economic outlook.”

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