Unipart Group ‘saddened’, restates distance from Unipart Automotive

The Unipart Group has released a statement on Unipart Automotive’s descent into administration and the partial rescue by a joint deal between Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance. While expressing sympathy for the company’s plight, the Unipart Group sought to delineate the boundary between the Unipart business units of which it remains in control and the stricken parts distributor.

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.

“We have recently been able to work constructively and collaboratively with Andrew Page [and the buying group The Parts Alliance, of which it is a member] 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.”

Unipart Group staff to be redeployed

The statement continued: “The Unipart Automotive distribution business, previously known as Partco, was sold by Unipart Group in 2011. Unipart Group retained a passive equity stake, and a condition of the sale was that Unipart Group exercised no control over the business.

Unipart Automotive progressively established itself as a stand-alone entity with the exception of some distribution services provided by Unipart Group. Less than one per cent of Unipart Group employees provided services to Unipart Automotive. Unipart Group anticipates that it will be able to offer redeployment opportunities as the Group is experiencing growth elsewhere.

“We are continuing to grow our core long term businesses and will be making some important announcements regarding new clients in the coming weeks,” said John Neill.

“Unipart Manufacturing Group has benefitted from the biggest investment in our history in the last few years and is expanding quickly. We announced the ground breaking Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering with our partners, Coventry University, which is enabling the UK to develop highly skilled young engineers in a production environment.

“Our Unipart Logistics business serves a wide range of blue chip clients and continues to grow with new contracts such as Kimberly-Clark and our contract with Qoros, the Chinese car manufacturer was recently announced.

“Our Unipart Rail businesses are growing quickly in the UK and internationally through the introduction of innovative products and services. We are also building long term collaborative partnerships that will further speed up this growth.

“Our Unipart Expert Practices consulting businesses will shortly announce two major new contracts. The Unipart International business continues to expand in Europe, the Middle East, and in the United States with the launch of Unipart Heavy Duty, which provides cooling and components for large vehicles.

“The Group is financially strong and well placed to support its international growth strategy.”

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