Unipart Automotive administrator to support staff redundancy procedures

Administrator KPMG will support 1,244 Unipart Automotive staff through the redundancy process. The firm said its team of employment specialists will also put staff in touch with job seeker services. Further information on Unipart Automotive for all interested parties will also be posted on KPMG’s Insolvency Portal.

KPMG’s Mark Orton, Will Wright and Jonny Marston were appointed joint administrators to Unipart Automotive Limited on 24 July. Their first action was to sell off 33 branches to Andrew Page (21) and buying group The Parts Alliance (12), saving the jobs of 361 staff. A further 208 have been retained to assist the administrators. Unipart Automotive operated a network of 180 branches and distribution hubs trading under the Unipart Automotive, Partco Autoparts, and Express Factors brands, employing 1,813 people before administration. A total of 1,244 of them have been made redundant.

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.”

Orton also detailed the action KPMG would take to support employees made redundant by Unipart Automotive’s move into administration. “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.”

KPMG also stated that the 700-plus independent, owner-operated garages supported by Unipart Automotive through its Unipart Car Care Centre programme, as well as 19 additional franchisees, fall outside of the administration and will continue to operate as normal.

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