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Signex into voluntary admin to restructure after $1m Covid hit

Melbourne events signage company Signex Group and its wide format print business Prologica Digital Print have entered voluntary administration and called a first meeting of creditors for next week. Signex co-owner Doug Pieper is looking to restructure the business and hopes to be out of the administration process before Christmas.

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  (photo: Signex Group)
signex group doug pieper

  "We've done the right thing":
 Signex co-owner Doug Pieper


Pieper told Wide Format Online: “Signex does not owe any suppliers, customers, or staff any money. In fact, Signex has paid all outstanding invoices, staff entitlements as well as all superannuation contributions. I’ve protected all of my supplies, all of my staff, my family and my name.  We have done the right thing and hopefully the administration process will be over in a few weeks.”

The Bayswater-based sports signage supplier lost over $1 million worth of signage work this year after Covid-19 forced the cancellation of major events including the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, the Grand Prix and several big golf tournaments.

Pieper said the Covid hit followed the company losing $350,000 last year after two prominent Melbourne printing companies went into liquidation and a sports promoter failed to meet commitments.

In a bid to save the jobs of employees, Signex this year pivoted to Covid-related signage, manufacturing floor and window decals, sneeze screens and hand sanitiser stands. “We’ve developed a full range of products and have gone from a business that virtually stopped overnight and we looked at putting off all our staff and closing down until the event season started, to one where we are supplying much needed products for a completely new market,” Pieper told Knoxbiz in August.

“It’s been keeping our head above water and getting better every month,” he said this week.

Signex last week appointed administrators Stephen Dixon and Leigh Dudman from Hamilton Murphy Advisory.  A first virtual meeting of the creditors will be held at 3pm on Friday, 30 November. “In accordance with Stage 3 Restrictions in Victoria by the State Government in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual meeting will be held utilising teleconference facilities,” said an ASIC notice. “Creditors are expected to attend by electronic means and no physical place for the meeting is provided.”

signex group website pic

In 2018, Signex/Prologica represented Australia in an international print challenge titled the World of Wallcovering at the 2018 SGIA Expo in Las Vegas. The event allowed Océ Colorado users from around the world to test colour-matching capabilities and colour consistency when printing wallcoverings on the Océ Colorado 1640 wide format printer.

Signex Group was established in 1985 and specializes in corporate, exhibition and event signage as well as point of sale and visual merchandising material. This includes large format posters, sleeves, bollards, a-frames, floor graphics as well as show-cards, dump bins, standees, window decals, flags, banners and free standing displays.