In the wake of Unipart Automotive’s demise, Unipart Group sought to differentiate itself from the business that had been sold to H2 Equity Partners in 2011. The Unipart Group has now confirmed its commitment to another automotive business carrying the Unipart name. Unipart will develop the Unipart Car Care Centre proposition in order to make it more robust and compelling for both garages and motorists.
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.
Investment bank William Blair said it views a potential rescue deal between Euro Car Parts and Unipart Automotive, if it were to happen, as “a good fit”. However, these words were written in an investor’s note dated 10 July and so far there hasn’t been any more information on how the talks with Euro Car Parts, Better Capital and at least one other party are progressing as yet.
Sources are reporting that the Unipart Automotive rescue bids have been received and we are likely to hear the outcome in the next 24 hours, but these claims could not be officially verified. Earlier in the week separate sources close to the negotiations told Tyres & Accessories they were expecting talks to conclude towards the end of the week, which would seem to fit into the same timeframe. With managers saying they were hopeful talks could be wrapped up in 36 hours at the beginning of the process on 8 July, the fact that almost 10 days have now passed suggests things are becoming increasingly urgent. It is also putting pressure on its loyal workforce. However, the official line from shareholders Unipart Group and H2 Equity as well as one of the three bidders Euro Car Parts has been a unified “no comment”.
We know Unipart Automotive is in need of a buyer. We know at least three companies including Euro Car Parts and Better Capital are talking to the owners about a takeover/rescue plan. But a lot remains unknown and so Unipart Automotive’s roughly 1600 employees are facing a great deal of uncertainty while the talks continue causing some to consider their employment options moving forward.
With numerous sources reporting that loss-making parts firm Unipart Automotive is just days away from a rescue plan (which you might read as a sales of the company), and with at least three bidders being associated with the deal, fast-growing rival Euro Car Parts could be seen as a front runner. But first a little background. Following the initial news reports Unipart Automotive was close to calling in the administrators on 8 July, a day later minority shareholder Unipart Group clarified its relationship to Unipart Automotive:
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.
Venture Finance provided a funding line of £37.5 million to finance H2 Equity Partner’s recent acquisition of a controlling stake in Unipart Automotive. And what’s more there is said to be “increased appetite for structured private equity deals.”
Unipart Group and H2 Equity Partners have officially completed the previous announced deal that sees H2 acquire a controlling stake in Unipart Automotive, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment.
H2 Equity Partners has announced plans to acquire a controlling stake in Unipart Automotive, the UK’s largest independent supplier of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment. Unipart Automotive is currently owned by Unipart Group. The agreement, which is expected to be concluded shortly, sees H2 Equity Partners taking majority ownership in the UK operation. Unipart Group will hold onto 49.9 per cent. Patrick Kalverboer, managing partner at H2, will become executive chairman of the new company.