Jobs axed in Fareham, Portsmouth and Chichester as retailer closes

Some 1,400 people are understood to have lost their jobs nationally
Some 1,400 people are understood to have lost their jobs nationally
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Councillor Donna Jones, the Leader of Portsmouth City Council hands over the keys to Mark Tickner     Picture: Malcolm Wells

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More than 30 people have lost their jobs locally as a car parts retailer has gone into administration.

Unipart Automotive, an independent suppliers of car parts, workshop consumables and garage equipment, has 180 branches and distribution hubs across the country, including sites in Portsmouth, Chichester and Fareham.

Today is has been announced that Mark Orton, Will Wright and Jonny Marston from KPMG have been appointed joint administrators for the firm.

Closure has led to 21 job losses in Fareham, nine in Portsmouth and six in Chichester.

The administrators have already sold part of the business in a joint deal to Andrew Page and The Parts Alliance – but local branches could not be saved in this.

The deal will see Andrew Page acquire 21 branches and The Parts Alliance a total of 12.

But the remainder of the business has ceased to trade and as result a total of 1,244 members of staff have been made redundant.

Mr Orton 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.’