Wisbech one of the lucky 31 to find new owners as the rest of Unipart’s nationwide branch network enters administration

Unipart Care Care Centre

Unipart Care Care Centre - Credit: Archant

Jobs have been saved in Wisbech – but lost throughout the country- following the collapse of a nationwide engine parts company.

KPMG was appointed joint administrators to Unipart Automotive Limited, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment.

The company operated 180 branches and distribution hubs trading under the Unipart Automotive, Partco Autoparts, and Express Factors brands, employing 1,813 people.

One of the branches was in Weasenham Lane, Wisbech, but it was announced last night it was one of 21 branches sold onto to a new company,

A KMG spokesman said: “Immediately upon appointment, the administrators sold part of the business in a joint deal to Andrew Page, one of the UK’s largest distributors of car parts, workshop equipment, tools and diagnostics, and The Parts Alliance.

“The deal will see Andrew Page acquire 21 branches and The Parts Alliance a total of 12. A total of 361 staff employed across these sites have transferred to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance with immediate effect”

Wisbech was on the list but the spokesman added that “unfortunately the remainder of the Unipart Automotive business has ceased to trade and a total of 1244 members of staff have been made redundant. A total of 208 members of staff have been retained to assist the administrators.”

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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.

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