via AMH printers face liquidation | The Herald December 23, 2013 by Daniel Nemukuyu
Strand Multi-print Private Limited, who print Alpha Media Holdings’ publications, has been placed under provisional liquidation.
Alpha Media publishes NewsDay, The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent and Southern Eye. The company asked the High Court for the liquidation order arguing it was insolvent and no longer viable.
Justice Priscilla Chigumba on November 28 granted the order and subsequently appointed Mrs Theresa Grimmel provisional liquidator.
“It is ordered that the applicant company Strand Multi-print is provisionally wound up pending the granting of an order in terms of paragraph 3 hereof or the discharge of this order.
“Mrs Theressa Grimmel of Trivade Private Limited is hereby appointed as provisional liquidator of the applicant company with the powers set out in paragraphs (a) to (h) of Subsection 221 of the Insolvency Act . . .” ruled Justice Chigumba. In the application for liquidation, Strand director Alpha Media chief executive Mr Raphael Khumalo, said the company had lost business due to technological changes.
“Applicant is insolvent in that it is no longer able to generate any cash sufficient to settle its recurrent liabilities particularly its obligations to employees.
“On account of the regular and persistent changes and improvements in technology and the ability of many of its customers to print and duplicate their own material, applicant has progressively lost business and become unviable.
“As a result, applicant company has ceased all operations and settled its liability with all its creditors save, its employees, who are owed terminal benefits,” he stated.
According to the application the company’s current assets are valued at US$117 000 whereas its fixed assets are worth US$100 000.
In September this year, struggling Alpha Media formally announced its intention to retrench staff, though it called it a restructuring exercise.
The company said it would retrench staff in the editorial, advertising and the distribution departments. The media house’s staff recently reported that the company had sent a notice to workers advising them of the staggering of salaries. Employees also said morale was low both at its Harare and Bulawayo offices.
Some workers were reportedly not paid their December salaries and have gone for three years without end of year bonuses, with management promising to start paying the 13th cheque in 2015.
In his statement last Wednesday, Mr Khumalo said the restructuring exercise was meant to ensure that all parts of business were working optimally towards providing value for money for readers and advertisers.
After restructuring, some positions will be made redundant. Voluntary severance was being offered.