Unipart Automotive Limited, one of the UK’s largest car parts suppliers, has entered administration resulting in the loss over 1,200 jobs.
Administrators were appointed to the Solihill-based company, which directly supports over 700 independent, owner-operated garages through its Unipart Car Care Centre programme, after a sale of the business as a whole could not be reached.
The company had been struggling with financial losses for several years and as a result of entering administration, 1,244 staff have been made redundant and 150 sites were closed. 208 staff have been retained to assist the administrators.
Both Euro Car Parts and turnaround fund investor Better Capital had been involved in negotiations to acquire the entirety of Unipart Automotive, however a deal could not be finalised.
Some 33 of the company’s 180 branches have been sold by administrators in a joint deal to car part distributor Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance. Andrew Page has acquired 21 branches and The Parts Alliance a total of 12.
Mark Orton, Will Wright and Jonny Marston of KPMG where appointed as joint administrators to the company today (24 July).
Mark Orton, partner at KPMG, 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.”