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Burntwood's successor calls in receivers

Prospect Group Europe, the Birmingham-based repairer resurrected from the remains of Burntwood Accident Repair Centre, has appointed receivers Poppleton & Appleby after work providers withdrew business.

Owner Barry Garbett blames the collapse on the company's three key work providers - Royal & SunAlliance, Fortis and National Car Rental - which, he claims, promised support but then began cancelling agreements. Following a “dawn raid” by Fortis, which began removing policyholders' cars, Garbett issued a statement saying the action impeded his ability to buy parts and materials on a cash only basis.

Industry sources say Prospect's collapse was inevitable. Local repairers, incensed by the company's rebirth after Burntwood Accident Repair Centre went into liquidation with unpaid bills, are thought to have put pressure on suppliers not to support the business. Garbett's Burntwood operation folded last year after suffering cash flow problems. Two major paint companies are believed to be chasing payments after loaning the business money.

According to Poppleton & Appleby, Garbett has decided to leave the accident repair industry. “Garbett will be remembered as the guy who ended the free-for-all process of paint companies offering golden hellos - now they are doing due diligence before loaning money,” says one source.

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