Worldwide Online Printing franchisor collapse hits 85 franchisees

The reasons for the collapse are not clear at this stage, although franchisees have said that Worldwide's offset printing operations (known as its "manufacturing" division) has been losing money and had dragged down the rest of the business.

http://www.smartcompany.cm.au
March 10, 2010

Worldwide Online Printing franchisor collapse hits 85 franchisees
James Thomson

About 85 franchisees of collapsed printing franchisor Worldwide Online Printing are waiting to find out who will take over their franchise network after administrators put the company up for sale.

The Perth-based franchisor was placed in administration in the last week of February by its Malaysian-based owner, Navis Capital Partners. The Malaysian investment fund bought the group four years ago from founder Clive Denholm, who started Worldwide in 1995.

According to the administrators, insolvency firm McGrath Nicol, the business had franchise turnover of more than $50 million in 2008-09. The company's website says the group employs about 300 people.

The administrators are offering the business and assets of the franchisor, including "the information systems, and intellectual property used by Worldwide to support the national franchise network".

All franchisees remain open for business and are continuing to trade. Phillip Anderson, executive director of industry group Printing Industries, has confirmed his organisation will continue to provide support services (including business, OH&S and industrial relations advice) to the 65 franchisees who are members of his organisation until 1 April.

"We're still hopeful that something can be sorted out," Anderson told SmartCompany.

"The model seems to be fairly robust."

That sentiment appears to be shared by many of Worldwide's franchisees.

While the franchisees contacted by SmartCompany were reluctant to comment on the record, one Victorian operator said he was confident that the issues at the franchise level could be resolved quickly and the franchise network would continue to trade as normal.

The reasons for the collapse are not clear at this stage, although franchisees have said that Worldwide's offset printing operations (known as its "manufacturing" division) has been losing money and had dragged down the rest of the business.

One franchisee told SmartCompany that restructuring the franchise to remove the manufacturing side of the business would be strengthen the entire group.

"In fact, we think it will make our group stronger when all this is sorted out."

The manufacturing business has not been offered for sale by McGrath Nicol.

A creditors meeting will be held in Perth today.

Worldwide Online's acting chief executive Rob Dallimore did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.

http://www.smartcompany.com.au/franchising/20100310-worldwide-online-printing-franchisor-collapse-hits-85-franchisees.html


Brought to you by WikidFranchise.org

Risks: Franchisor insolvency, Franchisees are pawns in insolvency flip, New franchisor may be nastier than the old one, Unrelated franchisor investment sinks franchise system, Australia, 20100310 Worldwide online

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License