WCR Rental has bought WCR Municipal Vehicle Hire after it was placed in administration with its parent company PFB Self Drive, a commercial vehicle rental firm.
The firms provided vehicle rental services, which allowed short-term hire to customers, although a small percentage were on longer-term contract hire agreements. The vehicle fleets were subject to hire purchase agreements with 33 funders involved.
According to KPMG’s Statement of Proposals, 27 parties showed interest in the companies and eight offers were made. Creditors felt the offer of £409,000 from WCR Rental led by Martin Watson – an interim financial director acting as a consultant for both PFB and WCR previously -was the best.
The sale of business and assets was completed on 15 April and the completion of the property sales is expected to take place on 15 October.
WCR Vehicle Hire sales director Paul Knibbs said the business trading was now “leaner and fitter”, adding: “As a result of the process WCR will now be able to strengthen its already enviable position in the municipal hire market.”
KPMG was appointed to PFB and WCR Municipal Vehicle Hire on 3 March after PFB suffered a “dramatic reduction in turnover” across the 18 months prior to the administrator’s appointment, as a result of the recession impacting on its customer base.
According to the administrator, WCR continued to grow and was profitable but because of its connections with PFB “WCR was unavoidably impacted by the difficulties facing the company”. PFB was reliant on inter-company funding from WCR to meet creditor costs. But by January 2010 Yorkshire Bank requested KPMG review the options available to the businesses in light of their difficulties so, KPMG marketed both WCR and PFB for sale together.
When KPMG was appointed PFB owed Yorkshire Bank £1,240,046 but the book debts are now being collected by the administrator
Before the administrators had been appointed, PFB had tried to cut costs by decreasing fleet vehicles from more than 1,000 to 300 vehicles and it had to make five employees redundant as a further cost-saving bid. The firms also had to downsize from three sites to just one during 2008 and 2009.
Forty-one employees have been transferred to the new company