Saturday, November 9, 2013
After yesterday’s post, which was titled - “Has Service Point Shuttered Its Operations in the U.S.?” – I heard from four different sources, including one source within Service Point U.S., that the answer to that question is, “YES”.
This morning, a person posted a “comment” to yesterday’s post, and here’s what that comment says:
“Service Point has completely closed all U.S. operations as of yesterday. Employees were told at 10:30 via email from Kevin. Customers were given no notification from the company. Do not expect a response from Kevin. Website (www.servicepointusa.com) is down and phones including the main number at HQ (781-497-7799) have all been shut off.”
A truly extraordinary turn of events!
….. for we are talking about an operation that was once one of the reprographics industry’s high-fliers. Service Point’s U.S. business, before its name was changed many years ago to Service Point, was originally known as Charrette ProGraphics. Charrette was founded (in Boston) by two friends who attended Harvard, Lionel Spiro and Blair Brown. Originally established as a reseller of supplies to the A/E/C and arts communities, Charrette later morphed/expanded into the reprographics services business, and, in the late 1980’s, established what eventually grew to be one of the reprographics industry’s largest and most successful FM (OnSite Services) businesses. Most of Charrette’s (Service Point’s) FM growth came during the time that Mark DiPasquale and Jane Simmons were heading up Charrette’s/Service Point’s FM business. [In 2007, Mark and Jane founded Archimedia Solutions Group; ASG is in the FM/OnSite services business.] Charrette’s/Service Point’s reprographics business eventually grew to include production center operations in several market areas in the U.S., primarily in the Eastern U.S. One of those markets was Washington, D.C. The company acquired Capital Technigraphics (founders were Jim Early and Ken Wheelock) to enter the D.C. market. Last year, Service Point shuttered its D.C. operations. Evidence of things to come?
After Mark DiPasquale resigned from the position of President of Service Point US, he was replaced by Bill Sullivan, an SP team member who worked for SP for approximately 12 years (in other words, a veteran.) But, later on, on October 20, 2010, Service Point issued a Press Release to announce a new leader of its U.S. business unit: (from that Press Release…..)
“Service Point Solutions, S.A (ticker: SPS.MC) has appointed Kevin Eyers to run its US business. The US subsidiary accounts for roughly 9% of the group’s topline, with revenue last year of €20 million.”
“According to Joan Carles Peiro, COO of Service Point Solutions, “With this appointment, Service Point is vouching strongly for its US subsidiary. Kevin has a tremendous track record in the world of document management within the financial arena. Judging by his successes in the past, he is bound to build SPS US into a benchmark player in the American market”.”
I previously reported on Reprographics 101 that SP USA’s sales were in the neighborhood of $43 million (USD) (around €32.7 million based on the 2007 EUR/USD exchange rate) at the time Mark DiPasquale resigned.
The Press Release SP issued in October 2010 indicated that SP USA’s sales were €20 million. (That’s when Kevin took over management of SP USA.)
In an Investor Presentation document that SP released in June 2013, SP stated that SP USA’s 2012 revenues were €15.9 million.
The saddest thing about SP’s decision to shutter operation in the U.S. – it is likely that some 150 people have lost their jobs.
At this point – not having yet received any replies to my e-mail inquiry to SP’s headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, one can only wonder: a) why SP made the decision to shut down its U.S. operations, b) what’s going to happen to the rest of SP? [SP operates a very large business in the U.K. and has significant operations in Western Europe. Among them, SP owns the largest reprographics business in Norway and has a significant operation in Sweden. (SP previously exited from the reprographics business in France)], and c) why in the world would anyone, in this case, SP, shutter an operation that could have been sold?
I previously reported on the blog that SP (per Reuters.com) filed “for protection from creditors”; SP took that step because its lenders failed to agree to SP’s proposal to refinance SP’s debt. I also previously reported that SP recently brought in a new CEO (September 2013) and that two of its directors resigned. It could well be that SP’s lenders shut off SP’s cash spigot. If that’s what happened and if that’s why SP shut down its US operations, that would be a fantastic example of “shooting oneself in the foot.” Why would any lender (or lending group) take an action that would reduce to zero the value of something worth in the millions?
Anyway, as I said, a truly extraordinary turn of events. A once major high-flying company (SP USA), one of the top 10 reprographics enterprises in the U.S., down for the count.
If anyone out there can provide further details, please contact me at email@example.com. Thank you.
Posted by Joel Salus at 7:39 AM