Polestar, which prints over 50m products a week, is the latest big employer to fall on hard times in the same week as Austin Reed and BHS collapsed into administration
PwC has been appointed administrator to Polestar, the UK’s largest independent printing outfit.
Up to 1,500 jobs are now at risk at the printer of specialist academic books and journals as well as the Radio Times and Private Eye.
The £200m group fell into administration after the printer’s biggest customer – rumoured to be Daily Mail newspaper publisher DMG Media – did not renew a contract.
Polestar looked to have been granted a stay of execution when it was bought by Proventus Capital Partner in March this year.
In a statement, PwC, said: “The business had previously undergone a pre-packaged sale with the aim of protecting value and achieving stability. Unfortunately the decision by its largest customer not to transfer their business to the new company as well as continued pressure from other stakeholders has threatened the viability of the ongoing business to the extent that directors have sought the protection of an administration for the two companies.”
“The joint administrators’ immediate priority is to continue operations and to pay staff as normal while they assess the current position. They have started the process of seeking buyers, with the aim of ensuring the continuity of service for customers and of preserving the jobs of employees.”
Poelstar was once owned by controversial Daily Mirror publishing tycoon, Robert Maxwell, and in 2012 its company pension scheme – with a £500m deficit – had to be rescued by the Pension Protection Fund.