Unipart Automotive collapses into administration as scale of rescue deemed “too risky”

Lynsey Barber
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Unipart collapses as it fails to find buyer (Source: Getty)

Car parts business Unipart Automotive has gone into administration with the loss of more than a 1,000 jobs as a rescue bid from turnaround specialists R Capital, said to be interested in the business earlier this week, failed to emerge.

The accountants in charge, KPMG, managed to offload 33 of the 200 branches to the Parts Alliance and Andrew Page, both car parts and distribution specialists, safeguarding at least 300 jobs.

KPMG partner Mark Orton 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.”

The firm will look at selling off other aspects of the business, which is majority owned by Dutch private equity firm H2 Equity Partners, such as leasehold interests.

R Capital, the firm credited with turning around Little Chef, was said to be interested in Unipart along with Better Capital and rival firm Euro Car Parts, according to reports.

Parts Alliance Chief executive Peter Sephton said of its takeover of part of the business: “It is, of course, deeply sad when businesses enter administration as jobs are inevitably lost, but we are pleased that through this deal we will be saving over 300 jobs and bringing these into the fold.”