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Business

Henry Stone denied financial problems

Print Monthly contacted Henry Stone Printers two weeks ago, after hearing through independent sources that some staff had not been paid on time in January and the firm’s insurers had withdrawn cover for the business.

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The website of Henry Stone Printers gives details of the plant list and even lists job vacancies

A spokesman for the printers emphatically denied there was a problem at the company and furiously denounced such rumours claiming “everyone was paid on time.” He also said the company had a full order book, business was doing very well, and that despite the issue over the take-over of the former Headley Brothers operation that had proved a disaster the core company, was an independent business and was in good health.

In contrast to this response the opposite seems to have been true. Last week, Henry Stone went into administration leaving more than 100 workers without a job and a long list of very unhappy suppliers without payment. There seems little chance that the Banbury company will be sold on, as a going concern or that a section of it could be saved by administrators Geoff Rowley and Phil Armstrong.

Our three B1 sheet-fed presses offering 10 and 12 colour printing, including our new state of the art XL106 incorporating CutStar facility, enabling the use of reel paper to minimise waste

Now it will be a case of what the administrators can salvage from the ashes of the business by finding buyers for the presses and finishing equipment. The company’s website says: “Our Digital department is fully equipped with  5 colour presses, glossing unit to provide UV finishes and extensive finishing equipment. Our three B1 sheet-fed presses offering 10 and 12 colour printing, including our new state of the art XL106 incorporating CutStar facility, enabling the use of reel paper to minimise waste and provide the most cost-effective solution available. Our finishing departments offer everything from folding, Stitched, PUR and Perfect Bound products. With UV Varnishing, Laminating and also fulfilment all on-site.”

Richard Walsh was the one of the directors at Henry Stone Printers

Companies House states that the last accounts for the firm were for March 2017 and became overdue just before Christmas. In 2016 the firm was in danger of going bust following the collapse of Polestar. The Banbury Guardian newspaper reported at the time: “The company, established in 1826, was under threat of closure due to the collapse of its parent company Polestar, which went into administration in April.”

It went on to say: “Richard Walsh, Mark Scurr, Steve Ottley and Richard Hinchliffe, all employees of the firm, stepped up to the plate and, risking their own personal investment and with additional financial backing from Thames Valley Capital, secured a management buyout (MBO). The MBO has also secured the 100 or so jobs at Wheatons Exeter, printer of books directories and catalogues, which enjoys a mutually beneficial, non-competitive relationship with Henry Stone printers.” Wheatons was a long established firm in Devon founded in the 18th century and went bust in the summer of last year.



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