DVD machines, once in operation in Ipswich, sold for fraction of original worth

STAR - Elliott
Pic Wendy Turner 15/4/10

STAR - Elliott CINRAM FACTORY ON RANSOMES WAY< Ipswich. Pic Wendy Turner 15/4/10

Five replicator machines, used to copy CDs and DVDs and once worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, have been provisionally sold for an undisclosed sum.

Cinram Operations Ltd made and distributed DVDs at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, but the site closed in September 2016 as the industry shrank.

Its machines have now been snapped up for a fraction of their original worth. They went into storage after the firm shut up shop in Ipswich, moving first to a site in town, then Leighton Buzzard and later, Aylesbury.

The Ipswich Cinram business, which once employed around 180-plus staff in Ipswich, returned to its German parent company, Cinram GmbH, but that went into a German administration process last year, explained Steve Smith, of Mercer & Hole, administrator for Cinram Operations UK Ltd. The German company in turn was owned by a US equity firm.

“The company ceased its trading operations back in 2016 and the companies have lain dormant since that time. We have some machinery, which represents the DVD replication lines, in storage, which now needs to be sold. We have been appointed administrators to deal with the sale of these assets,” he said.

“The machinery that was there was subject to a mortgage and, because of a series of events, nothing really has moved since that time and the DVD market is continually falling away because of online streaming. So the mortgagees gave up any attempt to get a reasonable sum of money for these machines.”

He added: “There aren’t that many businesses that can replicate DVDs or CDs in the volumes that Cinram was used to producing.

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Mr Smith said the sale price was confidential, but did confirm it was just a fraction of what they were once worth.

In its heyday in 2006, Cinram UK was preparing to build a new 17,000 sq m building in the town’s Central Avenue, to deal with major growth and accommodate its distribution operations. It was employing 180 people with plans to take on 40 more permanent staff and 20 seasonal ones.

“It is part of a multinational business and to that extent is footloose. The company is a world player in the manufacture/distribution of DVDs and production areas include capital intensive machinery,” an Ipswich Borough Council report pointed out at the time.

“These premises supply a significant proportion of DVDs to the UK.”

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