Date Published: 9th March 2022
SEVENTY jobs have been saved in a deal which sees the business and assets of a North West motor repair chain acquired.
The business and assets of Crossleys Accident Repair Centre Limited (“Crossleys”), which has four sites in the region (two in Poulton le Fylde and two in Liverpool) have been sold to M & B Motors (North West) Limited.
Crossleys is a body shop and accident repair centre which has been owned and operated successfully for the last 20 years by Martin Cross.
The business was severely impacted from the number of lockdowns imposed as a result of the pandemic, which reduced not only turnover but the availability of key parts required for the repair of vehicles.
In addition, the inability of staff to work through lockdowns due to furlough, illness and isolation also severely affected the ability to trade profitably which was compounded by credit limits being reduced.
The Manchester office of BegbiesTraynor was instructed to market the business and assets for sale as a going concern and preserve employment for the experienced and skilled workforce.
This process led to the successful sale of the business and assets to M&B through a Pre-Packaged Administration.
Gary Lee, partner at Begbies Traynor, said:
“We are pleased that this business with a positive reputation in the region has been sold as a going concern. The deal provides much needed continuity for customers and staff.
“More than 55,000 companies across the North West find themselves operating under significant financial distress as result of the pandemic and the lockdown and Crossleys is one such business that fell victim. The new company is now in a position to grow the business as 2022 progresses and the economy continues to open up.
“We will see more examples of businesses like this across the region that are on the brink of financial collapse but who seek to restructure, refinance and bolster their existing management teams to lead them out of trouble and emerge stronger in the post-pandemic era.”
Figures released earlier this month by Begbies Traynor, in its quarterly Red Flag Alert data, confirm that 55,728 firms in the North West region were operating under significant financial distress in Q4 of 2021 – a 3% rise on the previous three months (54,350).
Greater Manchester saw 23,666 firms operating under significant financial distress, Liverpool City Region saw 8,933 and Lancashire 9,957.
Nationally, more than half a million firms are now in significant financial distress (589,168) – a 5% rise on the previous quarter.
Begbies Traynor also confirmed a 106% rise in the number of County Court Judgements (CCJs) issued in the final quarter of 2021, an early indication of insolvency, as creditors use the courts to recover debts as measures to provide breathing space for companies is withdrawn. The moratorium on landlords being able to evict businesses due to rent arrears is due to be phased out in March.
Gary is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner with over 20 years experience in the profession.
He has worked extensively with Banks, Asset Based Lenders & Private Equity on mid market & SME assignments. He has a broad range of experience gained through a variety of assignments, working on formal insolvency appointments, informal workouts, debt negotiations and independent business reviews.