PwC helps save 2,300 jobs with sale of vehicle repair business

07 September 2020 2 min. read

PwC has overseen the sale of Nationwide Accident Repair Services and a number of its subsidiaries, after being appointed for the company’s administration. While some 540 staff have been made redundant, over 2,300 jobs have been safeguarded by the deal.

For the last 25 years, Nationwide Accident Repair Services has been building a car repair business which today offers vehicle services of all kinds, from garages spread across the UK. Dealing with over 300,000 repair incidents per annum, Nationwide Accident Repair Services has 115 equipped Repair Centres, a UK wide Mobile Repair network, a UK wide mobile glass repair and replacement network, 21 Rapid Repair centres and an accident management and claims handling service, Nationwide boasts the broadest range of repair solutions and services in the industry today. This makes it the largest comprehensive automotive repairer in the UK.

2020 has been a tough year for businesses across the industrial gamut, however, not least in the automotive sector. With companies still recovering from an extended period where activity ground to a halt, Nationwide saw its cash reserves severely deplete amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, at the start of September, the firm was forced to appoint administrators from professional services giant PwC, as it sought to avoid being wound up.

PwC helps save 2,300 jobs with sale of vehicle repair business

Rachael Wilkinson and Rob Lewis of PwC were installed as joint administrators of the Witney headquartered firm, and immediately completed a sale for the majority of the group’s business and assets to RunMyCar, a subsidiary of Redde Northgate. While 540 roles and 30 sites were closed following the deal, the move safeguarded almost 2,350 roles across 80 sites including repair garages and back office functions. According to PwC, the sale reflects the underlying strength of the Nationwide business. 

Lewis commented, “As with many other businesses, the group had to weather major financial fallout due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which meant that trading volumes were significantly reduced.  Against that backdrop, the sale announced today reflects a significant positive outcome for the business, and we are especially pleased to have safeguarded 2,350 roles including apprentices, mechanics and technicians.”

The PwC team – which also included Neil Sumner, Minesh Rana, Shamil Shah, Tim Higgins, Sarah Richards, Amanda Hart, Rob Aspinall, Christina McGoldrick – maintained that Nationwide is better prepared to face a coming cycle of restructuring in the automotive sector. A release from the firm stated that refreshed lending agreements, cash conservation and supply chain management will be among the core factors firms in the industry will need to focus on.

Wilkinson added, “Companies across the automotive sector are still recovering... Some are only reaching a fraction of pre Covid-19 volumes despite reopening outlets. Consequently, the sector is set for a make or break rebalancing period over the next few months. Refreshed lending agreements, cash conservation and supply chain management will be key.”