Unipart Automotive rescue deal close?

Reports on FT.com suggest that Unipart Automotive may be close to securing a rescue deal that will save the British car parts supplier from a bankruptcy that would put 1,500 jobs at risk. The company has filed an intention to appoint KPMG as administrators, but its owners are hopeful of reaching a deal for a takeover of the business from one of three shortlisted bidders.

Two people with knowledge of the talks have suggested to the Financial Times that two of the potential bidders are Better Capital, an investment fund run by Jon Moulton, and Euro Car Parts, a larger rival.

Mark Dixon, chief executive of Unipart Automotive, said, “I can confirm that Unipart Automotive Limited is currently in detailed discussions with three parties in respect of the sale of the business. We are very hopeful of concluding this transaction in the next 36 hours. A notice of intention to appoint administrators has been filed, but merely with the intention of protecting Unipart Automotive while we complete this sale process.”

An intention to appoint administrators has to be filed by the company and does not automatically lead to insolvency proceedings. The process gives a company 10 working days breathing space to finalise a deal and prevent its lenders or other creditors forcing it into administration.

Majority owner H2 Equity Partners, a Dutch private equity business that specialises in turning around struggling businesses, has declined to comment

Read more about the involvement of Euro Car Parts here: “Is Unipart Automotive being lined up for sales to Euro Car Parts?

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