About 70 jobs at risk at motor-parts company

STAFF at motor-parts firm Unipart Automotive are being urged to “sit tight” while the company tries to finalise a rescue deal.

The company, which employs about 70 people in Bicester, issued a notice of intention to appoint administrators this week.

Marketing director Andrew Jeffrey said: “We are not in administration and we don’t have a plan to take the business into administration.

“We are trying to finalise a deal to put more finance into the business. The notice of intention to appoint administrators was a move to protect the business while the process is ongoing.

“We are expecting to finalise a deal by the end of the week. The message to staff is ‘everyone sit tight’. If we are lucky we will be able to prove that we have a good future.”

The firm was sold to Dutch private equity firm H2 by Cowley-based Unipart Group in 2011. It employs 70 people at its headquarters and regional distribution centre in Bicester, and uses Unipart Group’s warehouse in Cowley to supply independent garages. Clients also include Kwik Fit.

Unipart Group director of corporate affairs, Frank Nigriello, said that while the group still had a 48.8 per cent stake in Unipart Automotive, a condition of the sale was that the group exercised no control over the business.

He said: “People are confusing them with our company, which is growing strongly.”

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