IPG offers support as MPG rescue plan fails

The Independent Publishers Guild has brokered a deal with Ingram Content Group to support IPG members caught up in the demise of MPG Printgroup.

A statement from MPG's shareholders has said the company is expected to go into administration "within the next week or so", confirming the abandonment of a mooted rescue plan aimed at saving the plants at King's Lynn and Bodmin.

The statement said that "despite overwhelming support from the company¹s employees, lenders, customers and suppliers the challenge to overcome a number of inherent issues has proved too great."

The IPG said it had been "monitoring the situation at MPG with concern" and had teamed up with Ingram to offer a package of support for affected members.

Under the package, publishers with books placed with MPG can supply Ingram with a digital file of their titles and have them set up at p.o.d. Specialist Lightning Source for free. Ingram will also waive its annual market access fee to make books available through its worldwide sales channels if publishers wish.

IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: "We have been alarmed by the predicament of MPG Printgroup and concerned for all staff affected there. We know that many of our members have been caught up in the problems through no fault of their own, and want to do all we can to help them. We were therefore delighted when Ingram approached us with this deal which will hopefully be welcomed as a practical solution to ease some of the short-term problems faced by independent publishers."

Cambridge University Press, which transferred its in-house printing to MPG last year, has said it has secured alternative short-term printing for "time-sensitive publications".

"The shareholders of MPG Printgroup have today announced that they have abandoned the possibility of a rescue plan for parts of the Group. Despite overwhelming support from the company¹s employees, lenders, customers and suppliers the challenge to overcome a number of inherent issues has proved too great.

"As a result all remaining employees at MPG¹s plants at King¹s Lynn and Bodmin are to be made redundant while steps are taken to put the company into administration which is anticipated to occur within the next week or so. It is hoped that the technologically advanced operating sites will be preserved, with opportunity given to interested parties to purchase the assets in situ.

"It is a matter of deep regret that a rescue plan was not possible and the shareholders extend their thanks to all Employees for their long service and dedication over many years."

Chard told PrintWeek: "It has been a very emotional roller coaster but this pales into insignificance against the backdrop of 200 employees losing their jobs."