Administrators appointed to Unipart Automotive 24 July 2014
Unipart Automotive, one of the UK's largest independent suppliers of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment, has gone into administration.
Headquartered in Solihull, the company operates a network of 180 branches and distribution hubs trading under the Unipart Automotive, Partco Autoparts, and Express Factors brands. It employs 1,813 people.
Administrator KPMG has sold part of the business in a joint deal to Andrew Page, one of the UK's largest distributors of car parts, workshop equipment, tools and diagnostics, and The Parts Alliance. The deal will see Andrew Page acquire 21 branches and The Parts Alliance a total of 12. A total of 361 staff employed across these sites have transferred to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance with immediate effect. A complete list of these hubs and branches can be found below.
The remainder of the Unipart Automotive business has ceased to trade and 1,244 members of staff have been made redundant. A total of 208 members of staff have been retained to assist the administrators.
John Neill, chairman and chief executive of the Unipart Group, said: "We are saddened by the Unipart Automotive situation and even though we sold control of this business years ago, we are concerned for the future of the employees."
He added: "We have recently been able to work constructively and collaboratively with Andrew Page and are pleased that they have been able to save 33 branches and around 350 jobs. They have a strong reputation for selling high quality products and brands and we look forward to making available a supply of high quality Unipart branded products to Britain's car owners and Unipart Car Care Centres."
Mark Orton, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: "Despite intensive efforts over recent weeks, a sale of the whole Unipart Automotive business could not be reached, and a buyer could only be found for 33 of the sites on a going concern basis.
"Unfortunately, the business had been experiencing financial stress for a number of years, so the level of cash and further operational restructuring required to rescue a more substantial part of the business posed too much risk for most interested parties.
"Our team of employment specialists will be supporting all staff on completing redundancy forms and putting them in touch with job seeker services. We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests."
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