The £25m turnover, 210 employee book printing group collapsed in May, and attempts by management to revive the company via a CVA deal were unsuccessful. It went into administration in June.

In the report from administrators Simon Girling and David Gilbert at BDO, the failure of the business is pinned on the delays and cost overruns that occurred when MPG set up a new facility in Cambridge following its deal with Cambridge University Press.

“Unfortunately the time taken to complete the factory severely impacted on customer confidence leading to a reduced number of orders… as a result the company had insufficient work to trade in the short-term,” it said.

The potential CVA deal failed due to the high start-up costs that would be associated with it, according to the report.

Even though more than 25 potential third-party buyers expressed an interest in the business, with 18 signing non-disclosure agreements, no purchaser was willing to take on the risks associated with resurrecting the group, which also had sites in Bodmin and King’s Lynn.

Major trade creditors include Agfa, Kodak, HP, Kolbus, and a raft of paper companies (see below). The estimated total deficiency regarding all the group’s creditors is £10.2m.

Next week Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is running an online auction of MPG’s remaining fixed assets, which include some of the equipment purchased on finance agreements. JLL is selling the Timsons digital book printing system and Kolbus KM600 sequential binding line that is owned by HSBC via private treaty.

JLL director Spencer Chapman said many of the items for sale were virtually new: “The compressed air systems at Cambridge and even the office furniture there is less than a year old,” he said. “The Océ print-on-demand setup at Bodmin is also very nice. It’s a logistical challenge if people want to visit all three sites, but we’ve had a lot of interest from the UK and abroad.”

A full list of the assets for sale can be found on the JLL website.

“We’ll do our level best for everybody,” he added.

JLL is also handling the sale of the Kodak Prosper inkjet system from MPG’s King’s Lynn site on behalf of HSBC, which could be of interest to St Ives for its Clays site.

Chief executive Patrick Martell said St Ives was still evaluating its options: “We’ve got one already and we know the technology works. Whether we buy this one or buy a new one will depend on the migration of work from conventional print to digital,” he said.

Printing & Graphic Machinery is selling MPG’s KBA sheetfed presses.

CPI Group has already purchased some of MPG’s kit, including a Timson T-Fold and additional Kolbus KM600 binding line.

MPG Printgroup – major trade creditors



Denmaur Independent Paper £378,325
Diamond Print Services £42,089
DMD Graphic Services £137,843
Elliott Baxter £29,065
Gould Paper Sales £1.9m
HP £47,669
KBA UK £54,851
Kodak £273,405
Kolbus UK £62,674
Masons Paper £433,967
Middleton Paper £34,642
Océ UK £24,827
Xerox UK £264,054