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Monday, 18 February 2013

Directors disqualified following collapse of their printing company

The directors of Media & Print Investments (MPI), Ben Crozier and Mike Dolan have been disqualified as directors for the next 8 years following an Insolvency Service investigation into the administration of the firm. The business had a turnover of £65m but in 2008 it collapsed

MPI went on an acquisition spree prior to its collapse and bought print firms across the South of England, including Borcombe SP, Butler & Tanner, Friary Press and Goodman Baylis.

So what happened?
The Insolvency Service discovered that it has raised two false invoices amounting to £440,461 and had obtained payment from the factoring company on them.  Also some assets that were subject to fixed charges were sold and the chargeholder was not paid.  This  meant that they (the chargeholder) had lost in excess of £500k

The Insolvency Service said; "Transactions at the latter stages of a company’s existence, when it is insolvent, need to be carried out with care with a view to the directors’ duties to all creditors and the company, not just to themselves."

However, in their defence, they said that the untimely death of the MD of the company whose evidence they deemed critical made for the wrong decision.  They also pointed out that they lost a considerable amount of their own money some £3.4m and their actions were motivated by trying to save the business and its 500 employees.

But as the Insolvency Service said they have a duty to creditors once the business is insolvent.

The pair are awaiting opinion from counsel as to whether to launch an appeal.

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