More jobs lost as sign firm goes into administration

A large sign company has gone into administration with the loss of 70 jobs.

Active Signs, based in Ramsgate, is the latest victim of the credit crunch.

The company, founded in 1990, is one of Europe’s leading sign organisations with the UK’s largest single site factory on Haine Industrial Park and many blue chip clients.

Joint administrator Mark Newman, of Sevenoaks-based Vantis Business Recovery Services, a division of Vantis, the UK accounting, tax and business advisory group, said the business had been forced into administration by a lack of working capital.

Seventy staff have been laid off, although some may be re-hired if administrators can find a way of saving the business.

"We are working closely with the management team to assess the opportunities to rescue all parts of the business," Mr Newman said.

It is understood from sources close to the company that Active was a profitable business but faced financial pressure when an invoice finance and asset-based lender reduced its facility.

Bosses and experts trying to save the company are said to be furious at the decision which appears to fly in the face of Government appeals to support businesses through the recession. One called it "unedifying and callous".

Experts are warning firms to look carefully at a contract’s "small print" so they don’t commit some minor infringement that gives financial organisations an excuse to cut credit facilities.

In a separate but related situation, credit insurers have been accused of damaging good businesses by withdrawing insurance guaranteeing payment to suppliers.

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