WAGENER BUSINESSES BACK ON MONDAY
All of Peter Wagener’s display print companies will be back up and running on Monday, from new premises, after a turbulent few weeks for the national supplier.
The companies – All Flags Signs and Banners, All Signs, Euro Poles, and Pennant House – are still embroiled in legal manoeuvres after a roller-coaster two weeks, which has seen them placed into voluntary administration, create a DOCA, be sent into liquidation, and have that liquidation challenged by the companies' lawyers, with the current status still fluid.
Wagener said, "We're in limbo, but either way, whatever happens, the business will be back up and running on 4 December, whether back under the old names, or under new ones.
"The support from customers, suppliers and staff has been tremendous. We are very conscious to make sure everything is legal, ethical and above board."
The well-known trade businesses were placed into voluntary administration last month, with the aim of securing a DOCA with creditors, but the sudden termination last week of the commercial lease on its premises triggered the administrators to put the businesses into liquidation.
However, that liquidation is being challenged, and with new premises on a new lease secured, and the companies set to ensure all suppliers are paid in full, it is all systems go for Monday. The operation has raised the not inconsiderable funds necessary to go forward. Moving the equipment in the new premises will be a major undertaking, among other kit the companies have 11 grand format print systems.
There is no other supplier of textile print solutions in Perth, and Wagener's companies also have a significant national footprint, supplying a growing range of innovative display print systems.
The troubles began when the national supply businesses struggled in WA’s harsh Covid lockdown measures, which saw the state cut off from the rest of the country. The situation was exacerbated by a company employee at that time failing to lodge returns with the ATO, to the tune of $2m, and then the ATO penalising the companies a further $2.4m for the non-lodgement. Wagener said, "The whole situation is completely unnecessary."
The move into voluntary administration was aimed at restructuring in the businesses. Wagener commented, “Our management team was actively pursuing solutions to secure the future of all companies, However, we received notification that the landlord of our commercial lease terminated the agreement, giving us 14 days to vacate, leaving us with no choice.
"Despite the setback, I want to assure our loyal customers, and the Australian events and sports industry whom we have served for three decades, that we have re-grouped.
"Thanks to our loyal staff and customers we are in a position now to state we are restarting on Monday."
The businesses grew from a humble start as a three-person operation 30 years ago to become one the country’s premier suppliers of display graphics solutions, despite its remote location, bringing a host of innovative cost effective products and services to the Australian print industry. The businesses had a significant in-house printing operation, including several grand format print systems, with a team of approaching 100 staff operating from its Maddington premises.
Looking ahead, Wagener said, "We are committed to the industry, supporting it fully and working to develop new products in the years ahead. Our staff are excited to be able to continue to serve our clients into the future."