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The first creditors meeting of stricken wide format supplies operation Starleaton is set to take place at 1pm today, in virtual format via Teams, for pre-approved creditors.

Vice president: Ben Eaton, Starleaton
First creditors meeting today Ben Eaton, Starleaton

The meeting will decide whether to appoint a committee of inspection, and if so who should be on it. Creditors will also be asked if they want to remove the administrators, and appoint another administrator.

A committee of inspection is essentially a representative number of creditors and Starleaton execs, with the creditors having the majority. It oversees the activities of the administrator, approves any payments, and decides if the power of company directors should continue.

Starleaton went into administration earlier this month, with Simon Cathro and Andrew Blundell of Cathro & Partners, Sydney, now in charge.

Since its inception 45 years ago, family owned Starleaton grew to become one of the major suppliers to the ANZ wide format sector, with a range of print equipment from blue-chip manufacturers such as Epson, Canon and Roland DG, and consumables from the likes of 3M, Neschen and Coldenhove. It also supplies the Zünd range of cutters.

The company operates from facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland, with some 70 staff on the payroll. It moved its national headquarters from Brookvale to larger premises in St Leonards a year ago.

Ben Eaton, son of the founders Peter and Lea Eaton, who retired in 2017, is managing director, with siblings Josh and Melissa also directors of the holding company. Eight years ago Starleaton bought rival DES, which had itself merged with Michael Laird’s Cyrachrome a decade earlier.

While the wide format sector has grown exponentially over the past 20 years, Starleaton operates in an increasingly competitive landscape, which in recent years has seen the two national paper merchants, Ball & Doggett and Spicers, enter wide format supplies with both consumables and hardware. In addition, there are another eight or ten strong players competing in the same space, including the likes of Graphic Art Mart, Ricky Richards, Hexis, HVG, Kissel + Wolf, Orafol, Avery Dennison, and Spandex, and virtually all the equipment manufacturers also supply consumables.

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