Unipart Automotive ‘days away’ from securing a rescue deal

  • @LauraHChesters

The UK’s largest independent car parts supplier is close to a rescue deal as Euro Car Parts and Jon Moulton’s Better Capital circle Unipart Automotive.

Unipart Automotive issued a notice of intention to appoint administrators this week and KPMG is advising on a rescue deal to save more than 1,500 jobs.

The company , which employs about 1,600 people in the UK, completed a refinancing deal in May, but it was not enough to save the business.

The UK business is owned by Unipart Group and H2 Equity Partners.  The Dutch private equity investor, which bought a 51 per cent stake in 2011, had hoped to invest in the business and turn it around, but recent poor trading prevented it from pulling off its plan.

Unipart Automotive, which has about 200 branches in the UK, hopes a rescue deal will be completed within days.

Mark Dixon, chief executive of Unipart Automotive, said: “I can confirm that Unipart Automotive is currently in detailed discussions with three parties in respect of the sale of the business.

“We are very hopeful of concluding this transaction within the next 36 hours.

One insider said a trade buyer was more likely to succeed because it would benefit from synergies and be able to consolidate the business.

But Mr Moulton, founder and former head of Alchemy Partners, has form in terms of interest in the car sector. He made an unsuccessful attempt to take over MG Rover in 2000.