Four jobs have been lost in Berwick with the immediate closure of Unipart Autmotive Limited on the Ramparts Industrial Estate.
The company, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of carparts, workshop consumables and garage equipment, has gone into administration.
Headquartered in Solihull, the company operated a network of 180 branches and distribution hubs trading under the Unipart Automotive, Partco Autoparts, and Express Factors brands. It employed 1813 people nationally.
As soon as they were appointed, administrators KPMG sold part of the business in a joint deal to Andrew Page, one of the UK’s largest distributors of car parts, workshop equipment, tools and diagnostics, and The Parts Alliance.
The deal will see Andrew Page acquire 21 branches and The Parts Alliance a total of 12. A total of 361 staff employed across these sites have transferred to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance with immediate effect.
However, the remainder of the Unipart Automotive business has ceased to trade and a total of 1,244 members of staff have been made redundant.
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.”