Adrian Allen and Lindsey Cooper of Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery were appointed to the Bradford-based business yesterday (24 July).

Following their appointment, AMS’s workforce was made redundant, although a handful of staff are understood to still be on site assisting the administrators.

PrintWeek understands that the loss of a major client, thought to be Z-Card, was one of the prime factors in the collapse of the business. As a result of AMS and Z-Card deciding not to renew their partnership at the end of 2012, AMS launched its own product, Alpha Cards, and invested a “six-figure sum” in two folder lines to produce the cards.

In its most recent accounts to 31 March 2012, prior to the loss of the Z-Card contract, AMS generated a pre-tax profit of £175,000 on sales of just over £6m.

In a statement, Allen said: “Along with many firms in this sector, Alpha Media Solutions has experienced difficult trading conditions and in recent months has been loss making.”

“The directors have taken steps to attempt to restructure the company’s cost base, but difficulties in obtaining credit lines with suppliers has meant that the business, in its current format, is no longer viable.”

Part of the plan to replace the lost Z-Card business centered on AMS’s purchase of Keighley-based commercial print business Steffprint via a pre-packaged administration in late March.

AMS paid £45,000 for the business and took on all staff, paying around £20,000 in salaries owed to staff by Steffprint. As a result of the purchase, AMS also took on significant TUPE liabilities in respect of Steffprint’s 27 staff.

Speaking at the time, AMS managing director Ian Whitfield said: “We’ve maintained continuity for the staff and the customers, but if the clients all walked away we’d be left with a significant six-figure bill.”

According to Allen the company was closed upon appointment because “regrettably, there is very little in the way of work in progress to complete and given the business is currently loss making we have taken the decision to cease trading and make the employees redundant.

“The joint administrators and their staff will be assisting employees with regard to making claims to the government redundancy fund.”

A Baker Tilly spokesman added that a creditors report would be circulated in around eight weeks’ time outlining the administrators’ plans on how the company could exit administration, which could include liquidation.

The collapse of AMS brings to an end the final chapter of Scorpio Print Finishing, which was founded in 1987 by David Richmond. Whitfield and then sales director Daniel Graham led an MBO at the £10m-turnover business in 2003, adding Senator Print Finishers in Leicester a year later, targeting combined sales of £15m.

However, in 2006 the company fell into administration and was split into two unconnected companies, with Whitfield buying the smaller “speciality” business, which included the Z-Card contract and became Alpha Media Solutions, and a larger trade finishing arm, Scorpio Print Finishers bought by Darren Walker.

Senator was not part of the administration and remained under Whitfield’s charge until its closure in 2010.

Trade operation Scorpio never really recovered from its initial fall into administration and after a number of false starts, it finally closed its doors in late 2007. However, AMS appeared to be making regular, modest profits until the termination of its deal with Z-Card.