Rock music publisher Team Rock, backed by private equity firm Harwood, has gone into company administration this week, resulting in the loss of some 73 jobs. 31 staff have been made redundant from its offices in High Blantyre, Glasgow and a further 49 at its offices in London. with staff apparently having not received pay for the month of December.
Team Rock, one of the UK’s best-known publisher of music magazines, made headlines back in 2013 when their £10.2 million acquisition of Classic Rock, Prog and Metal Hammer magazines from Future Publishing won the Small/Mid-sized Deal of the Year at the Insider’s 2013 Deals and Dealmakers Awards. Classic Rock had a monthly circulation of 50,219 the last time it was audited by ABC in 2015 and Metal Hammer stood at 20,961.
A Company With no Viable Options
Appointed administrations FRP Advisory commented: “Cost-cutting measures were implemented and despite the best efforts of the directors to seek additional investment or a purchaser for the business, no deal could be completed, leaving the company with no viable option other than to enter administration and to immediately cease trading.”
The company has been facing substantial financial challenges over the last few years, reporting a loss of some 4.3 million during 2015, and a further 8.8 million in 2016. The Daily Record reported that the company earned only 6.5 million during 2015, which was too little to even cover costs.
For the media company’s staff, of which only a handful have kept their jobs to assist the administrators, the news came at the very moment a joiner arrived to change the locks on the doors. “That’s not something I’ve ever seen happen before”, a source told The Scottish Sun, ‘and it certainly didn’t help the mood. It feels like an unnecessary slap in the face.”
Orange Goblin Frontman offers hope for redundant staff
Since the news, Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward has started a fundraising campaign to raise money for the staff that have lost their jobs. “Today, 73 members of the Team Rock staff were told that the company is going into liquidation and that they are being made redundant with immediate effect with ZERO pay,” he said in a statement. “These are good, hard-working, committed people that through Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog, Team Rock Radio and more, have supported the rock and heavy metal scene in this country for decades and now we, the rock community, need to pull together to help give something back.”
MacLennan added: “The company explored every option to secure the long-term future of the business. However, the constraints on the cash position of the business were such that administration was the only viable option. The administration presents an excellent opportunity to acquire high-profile rock music titles, products and brands that have a substantial global following.