A number of sources told PrintWeek that the locks were changed at the Deptford-based printer’s site on Wednesday, a day before wages were due to be paid, although this was unconfirmed.

Speculation has been rife about The Colourhouse in recent weeks, with staff leaving, equipment being put up for sale and suppliers putting the company on stop.

Meanwhile, a new company – Colourhouse 2013 – was registered at the same address as The Colourhouse on 1 October 2013.

Colourhouse directors Randle White, Lee Reeves and David Arkell were all listed as directors of the new business, together with David Crowe and Michael O’Halloran.

When contacted by PrintWeek on 16 October, Arkell initially denied knowledge of Colourhouse 2013 before stating that there were no plans to use the new company. Subsequent attempts to contact The Colourhouse went unanswered.

PrintWeek understands that the company’s directors – Randle White, Lee Reeves and David Arkell – had attempted to save the business via a buyout or takeover.

However, time appears to have run out this week after Bibby Financial Services filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators at the High Court on 29 October; at the time of writing an administrator had yet to be appointed.

A source told PrintWeek: “The directors seem to have worked very hard to find a rescue plan but they have finally run out of options.”

The firm installed a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL106 earlier this year. It was at number 223 in last year’s PrintWeek Top 500 with sales of £10.6m and 83 employees (taken from accounts dated 31/12/2011).