Administrative receivers from Grant Thornton were called in to the business by Barclays Bank on Monday following mounting debts and cashflow problems.
A spokesman for Grant Thornton says it has been forced to close Williamson’s outlet in Hartlepool, with Kia, Renault and Peugeot franchises, and its Peugeot dealership in Spennymoor. This has led to “around 50 to 60” redundancies.
However, the receivers are hopeful of finding a buyer for Williamson’s Darlington headquarters, which has Peugeot and Citroën franchises, and are already in talks with interested parties.
That business is continuing to trade, and Grant Thornton hopes a sale may be agreed within a week.
Receivership comes less than a month after AM reported that the group was in difficulty. Although managing director Simon Williamson insisted it was business as usual, sources told AM that it was having to pay upfront to some parts suppliers who were refusing credit. It had also been in talks to sell its Hartlepool site to Pendragon, however the negotiations had since collapsed.
Parsons Truck Centre, Williamson’s commercial vehicle and accident repair business in Hartlepool, is not in receivership.