Belfast Telegraph

Print firm owed creditors £3.1m

One of Ireland's oldest printing firms went into administration owing £3.1m to unsecured creditors, it has emerged.

Creditors of Graham & Heslip, which was established in east Belfast in 1927, range from suppliers owed six figure sums, to caterers owed just over £50.

Eighty-one jobs were saved when the troubled business was sold to C & R Print in December for a cash consideration of £100, less than two weeks after going into administration.

Administrators BDO said the company has £31,718 available for unsecured creditors, leaving a deficit of £3,088,319.

A list sent to around 200 creditors by BDO shows £790,370 - the biggest debt to a company - is owed to McNaughton Paper Northern Ireland. Ink supplier Alphagraphics is owed over £207,000.

Smaller sums are owed to a range of other organisations, including Bredagh Gaelic Athletic Club, owed £250, and Invest NI, which is owed £352. A bill of £54 from caterers Yellow Door is also outstanding.

Suppliers hit out after the company's purchase by C & R Print, protesting that the arrangement meant the company would have a new start under a 'pre-pack' deal while suppliers went unpaid.

But BDO defended the sale, saying it had secured 81 jobs.

It blamed the company's administration on 'the crystallisation of significant bad debts from the Republic of Ireland marketplace'.

Diarmuid McGarry, former managing director of Graham & Heslip, is also a director of C&R Print, along with Adrian Glenn, a director of Impression Print & Design.

The process is entirely legal and there is no suggestion that Graham & Heslip, or its directors, did anything wrong.