OVATO IN ADMIN – FIRST CREDITORS MEETING
The Ovato administrators held the first creditors meeting yesterday, and said they will be continuing to trade the business as a going concern, while they run a sale and recapitalisation process.
The administrators said there has been “excellent support” from customers and employees, and says it will continue to work with the suppliers.
The sale process has commenced. There has been a number of expressions of interest (see separate Print21 story today), and the administrators are working through those with the interested parties. Binding bids are due by next Thursday 11 August.
The administrators are looking for a buyer as soon as possible, they say "the sooner the business has a long-term owner the better off” all stakeholders will be.
As part of their role, the administrators are also investigating a number of matters before reporting back to creditors at the second creditors meeting, slated for 17 August.
The matters being investigated include the historical footprint of the company and legacy costs the company “has been burdened with”, the claims of various suppliers, the activities of the Group leading up to the appointment, and the impact of the pandemic.
The administrator is also investigating “a number of transactions involving the sale of divisions or businesses in recent times.” Over the past 18 months Ovato sold of much of its business that wasn’t directly concerned with heatset printing, including the retail distribution business, the marketing businesses, and the book printing business.