School bookseller Education Works has been placed into voluntary administration.
Andrew Sallway, Said Jahani and Matthew Donnelly of Grant Thornton were appointed administrators of the company and its eight related businesses on Wednesday 25 July. The Education Works group consists of the Wooldridge retail stores, Jacaranda Educational Supplies, the Elizabeth Richards direct mail business and the Fotoworks school photography business.
Grant Thornton said in a statement that ‘due to insufficient funding being available to continue to employ the staff, approximately 85 employees at the group will be made redundant’. The administrators said, however, that they are ‘working towards determining whether a potential buyer would be interested in employing any of the workforce’.
The administrators said that they will now investigate the companies and report to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. A meeting of creditors has been scheduled for 6 August, at which time further information about the companies is expected to be issued to creditors, supplier and customers.
Jahani said in the same statement that the administrators are ‘urgently assessing the future viability of the group, including whether a sale of all or part of the business’ is achievable. He said that the administrators have ‘been encouraged by a number of approaches by interested parties already’ and encouraged other interested parties to contact the administrators.
As previously reported by Bookseller+Publisher, Education Works announced the closure of its Wooldridges retail stores in Magill, South Australia, and Moorabbin, Victoria, as well as the closure of its warehouse in Braeside, Victoria, in April. The company said at the time that it believed it could best manage customer service ‘via a centralised distribution model, based in Perth’, where its senior executive team is now based.