250 jobs go as Howard Hunt crashes after Paragon deal

Luke_pigott_x2Paragon’s acquisition of three Howard Hunt Group businesses, as well as the order book of Howard Hunt (City), has forced the Dartford print giant into administration, resulting in the loss of 250 jobs.

Late last week Paragon secured the multimillion pound deal to acquire Celerity Information Services, ORM and Graft Services. However, on the same day, administrator BDO was appointed and Howard Hunt (City) ceased trading with 250 staff made redundant.

According to a Print Week report, which cites “sources close to the situation”, there was insufficient cash in the business for the administrators to continue to trade the £53m-turnover direct mail specialist.

Speculation had been mounting that at least three suitors were considering bids for Howard Hunt amid claims that the firm was facing an uncertain future due to financial pressure from long-term lender Santander.

The future of Howard Hunt chief executive Luke Pigott (pictured) is also unclear. Pigott had also been linked with a possible bid for Celerity, which he co-founded with Jason Lark in 2002.

Martin Pigott is also a director of the data business, whose clients include Sky, Zurich, the National Trust, Ford, GWR, Honda, and Greene King.

According to Companies House, the three directors are still in place.

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