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Brisbane floods liquidate publishing firm

Wildlife and nature photographer Steve Parish’s publishing business has been placed in liquidation and will be put up for sale after the company failed to receive an insurance payout following the Queensland floods in 2011.

The collapse of the company comes during a tumultuous period for small business as insolvencies reached their highest ever point in 2011.

A liquidator was appointed to the company on March 12, with Ian Currie and Daniel Moore of BRI Ferrier appointed. The sale of the business will take place through GraysOnline auction site.

The business acts as a publishing arm for Parish’s photography, although it also handles other publications as well. Currie told SmartCompany this morning the business has suffered since the Queensland floods.

“The business was flooded last year and the insurance wouldn’t pay,” he said. “They’ve tried to struggle on and get through things, but it’s just become too difficult.”

Revenue for the business was not disclosed. However, an advertisement calling for expressions of interest states the company has $1.5 million of stock on hand, with an “established network” with major retailers including David Jones and Myer, along with a distribution warehouse in Brisbane.

Currie also said the general retail environment has been a factor, although he says the liquidators’ investigation is still at an early stage.

“Retail is very tough at the moment,” he says. “The general retail environment is just hard to do business in right now.”

Parish, a Medal of the Order of Australia recipient for his publishing efforts, has been a professional photographer for decades and started the business in 1985. The company has published a variety of photography books, along with prints, stationary, postcards, kids’ books and travel guides.

The business is fielding enquiries through Graysonline.com, which operates a specific division for the sale of businesses. However, no information about the company appears to be active on the Graysonline.com website.

“This is often just a more cost effective way of doing things,” Currie says.

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