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Unipart Automotive to enter administration, but some branches saved

Unipart Automotive is expected to go into administration this morning after attempts to find a buyer for the whole business failed.

However 33 of the car parts supplier's 200 branches will be saved following a deal offered jointly by parts firm Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance.

That deal saves around 350 jobs and means Andrew Page has taken 21 branches and The Parts Alliance another 12.

However some 1,300 jobs remaining at Unipart Automotive are expected to be lost. KPMG will be appointed administrator.

“The Unipart Automotive situation is extremely sad as we know many of their team with whom we have long standing industry relationships. However, I would like to say on a personal level that it has been a privilege to be able to help contribute to saving a number of the jobs involved”, said Jim Sumner, executive chairman of Andrew Page.

“This development also now puts us well on the way to achieving our stated goal of building a truly national distributor with a network of over 150 branches – this acquisition will take us to 114.”

“This highly complex deal has only been possible through the backing of a number of people – we would not have been able to do it without the support of John Neill, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Unipart Group (which is a separate business from Unipart Automotive), and his team. 

"They worked with us in a very constructive and collaborative way and we look forward to building a strong ongoing relationship with them.  Also The Parts Alliance our investor partners Phoenix Equity Partners and in particular Endless LLP who have been key to enabling this transaction to be completed”, said Sumner.

John Neill, chairman and chief executive of The Unipart Group, said: “We are saddened by the Unipart Automotive situation but we know Andrew Page well and respect their near 100 year history in the automotive aftermarket.  They have a strong reputation for selling high-quality products and brands and we’re pleased to have been able to support Jim Sumner’s plans to secure a future for the number of branches and former Unipart Automotive people. 

"We look forward to working with Andrew Page to ensure the continued supply of high-quality Unipart branded products to Britain’s car owners and Unipart Car Care Centres.”

Indra Harrison, investment director at Endless LLP, said: "We pulled together this rescue deal in less than five days from offer to completion, which is testament to the working relationship between Andrew Page, The Parts Alliance and Unipart Group.  We are very excited about the future, working with our new partners and this transaction will accelerate Andrew Page's sales well beyond £200 million."

This latest development follows the refinancing of Andrew Page by Phoenix Equity Partners and Endless LLP early in 2014.

Since then a refocusing of strategic direction and branding has seen the management team strengthened, trading improved significantly, the Camberley Auto Factors outlets - acquired in 2012 - rebranded as Andrew Page and also the strategic decision to join The Parts Alliance.

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  • Nick - 24/07/2014 12:04

    A business owned by a venture capital business who don't know the industry has failed. The surviving branches purchased by Phoenix Equity Partners (who recently had to save Andrew Page putting the holding company into administration) and HG Capital (look at the financial accounts for the businesses they've bought). My sympathies go to those who through no fault of their own find themselves out of work and to those employed by the money men who don't know the industry and whose only interest is to suck money out, sell the businesses for a profit and move on.

    • marken - 24/07/2014 17:12

      @Nick - i'm one of the many that is now out of a job, and many of us feel we have been shafted good and proper. we have been lied to for the passed year about how the company was doing. i put my trust in those at the top to make this right and clearly they didn't have a clue or didn't care.

    • Anonymous - 24/07/2014 18:19

      @marken - It has been like that for more then a year more like years! Its a end of a era!

    • even more anonymous - 24/07/2014 21:26

      @Anonymous - definitely end if an era, sad thing is all the "senior management" will move on and make a mess of things wherever they go, sat in plenty of meetings where you knew your concerns,ideas and issues just fell on deaf ears.

    • nick - 25/07/2014 07:56

      That was the unipart way

  • Pinky - 24/07/2014 18:46

    One VERY upset, loyal, dedicated REDUNDANT van driver it's all BULLSHIT

  • PERKY - 24/07/2014 19:57

    Kept us working for another 24days,selling as much as they could,not knowing if we would be paid or not,now weve got to mess about trying to get our money,thanks unipart.

    • EX UA manager - 24/07/2014 21:22

      @PERKY - stated to my GM during May that it felt as though we were just there to sell as much stock as we could before they closed the doors,was told don't be draft big things are coming and we won't be using FPS as much in the future. Guess he was correct on one point!

  • Euan graham - 24/07/2014 22:10

    Yeah well done to john Neil. You saved 350 jobs and Andrew page and you are great. Let's gloss over the 1300 jobs that you have sold down the river to make sure you are ok. Absolute joke. You only wanted to keep the Unipart name so it was f*** Unipart employees! I'm ok jack. You should be ashamed

    • Mad Frank - 26/07/2014 20:20

      @Euan graham - The biggest joke is that John Neill has emptied the shelves and sold a load of out of date crap to Andrew Page, lets see if they trust him now. I hope that his dealings are investigated and that industry chiefs realise what he is.

  • micky - 24/07/2014 22:32

    get the cheque book out account holders the receivers are coming for the money due to Unipart

  • The big eared one - 24/07/2014 22:50

    Someone not saying any names knew exactly what he Was he was doing in 2011 sell up and let it go t..ts up and it was nice to see on one of the news sites how he managed to say how well the ua group is doing very well whaa HELMET

  • ME - 25/07/2014 02:06

    OMG - I feel your pain !! U.P. employees were known to be fiercely loyal - pity those at the top weren't and I imagine they pushed and pushed those targets till the very end !! Always thought I'd be back there one day when my baby didn't need me so much - not now - definitely the end of an era :( Worked at 5 branches and called many many more so very sad for all those that I know and them I don't x

  • david baker - 25/07/2014 08:11

    Hi Guys and Girls we at YES in Leeds are looking for telesales and van drivers please get in touch with emma on 01132634634 I hope we can help somebody

  • frank - 26/07/2014 21:35

    how much other business is Unipart Automotive going to take down with then, there will be more out of work again after the dust settles. it going to be a big OMG

  • Mad Frank - 27/07/2014 07:36

    If, as I have read on the internet that Euro Car Parts are going to create jobs giving preference to ex Unipart workers I ask all of you who have built up a rapport with customers to use that to get them to use ECP and show Andrew Page and Parts Alliance that they have still got a fight on their hands.

    • joe - 27/07/2014 11:39

      @Mad Frank - well they all know how to run a business except Unipart automotive, Unipart warranties on faulty goods aren't covered for garages now are they, so they must cover the brunt them self's ?????.

    • mad Frank - 27/07/2014 13:28

      @joe - If Andrew Page and the Parts Alliance hadn't done a underhand deal with John Neil (Unipart) - Euro Car Parts would have bought Unipart Automotive whole as a going concern and jobs would have been saved and warranties honoured.

  • andy - 27/07/2014 19:57

    lucas/lsuk all over again,very sad but thank god ECP didnt get them!!

    • EX UA BM - 27/07/2014 23:47

      @andy - better ECP than what's happened, hundreds of loyal staff paid no wages that were promised,branch managers left to help strangers demolish all the work UA staff had built despite a poor proposition that was out of their control but a leftover from the UGC days, Unipart Way, what a load of crap,analyze,analyze,3c,3c or I see the problem is not enough staff and lack of range, never mind you can't have either just carry on running metric U's that'll work!!!! ECP - yes sir we have it and its cheaper. ,,Small independent - yes sir we have it, UA - No sir sorry, record a lost sale and wonder what the F is going on?!!

    • Another Ex UA BM - 27/07/2014 23:55

      @EX UA BM - agree completely, sold down the river by UGC group, luckily ECP have offered me employment , look out UKPA/Andrew Paige as now I have every motive to attack your business, already spoken to 5 UCCC and they are disgusted over how staff have been treated, guess you forgot people deal with people

  • Anthony John Morris. - 29/07/2014 12:42

    I am saddened to learn of Unipart going into administration.I have been a trade customer for a number of years,i hope that my local branch(North Chesire Trading Est) can be saved.

    • joe - 29/07/2014 19:01

      @Anthony John Morris. - if ECP..,Andrew Page...Parts Alliance..., CES...will run it, seen prices gone up this week as wee have on competition Ps not going to administration GONE FENITO ( Who's next )