The news comes as the UK’s largest supplier of automotive parts, Unipart Automotive, has entered into administration with the loss of over 1,200 jobs.
Unipart operated a Stockton base which is one of 33 sites nationwide sold to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance immediately after the administrators were appointed.
Mark Orton, Will Wright and Jonny Marston from KPMG were appointed joint administrators to the Midlands-based firm, which operates a network of 180 branches and distribution hubs trading under the Unipart Automotive, Partco Autoparts, and Express Factors brands.
Andrew Page, a distributor of car parts, workshop equipment, tools and diagnostics, has acquired 21 of the Unipart branches, while The Parts Alliance has acquired 12.
A total of 361 staff employed across these sites have transferred to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance with immediate effect.
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.
“Our team of employment specialists will be supporting all staff on completing redundancy forms and putting them in touch with job seeker services. We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests.”
Unipart Automotive also directly supports over 700 independent, owner-operated garages through its Unipart Car Care Centre programme, in addition to having 19 franchisees. These companies fall outside of the administration and will continue to operate as normal.