TOM Vehicle Rental Group collapses into administration after rescue bid fails

Tom Vehicle Rental

 

TOM Vehicle Group has collapsed into administration with the loss of 342 jobs at the commercial vehcile, sales and services business.

Colin Dempster and Fiona Taylor of accountancy firm EY's restructuring team have been named as joint administrators of the firm, which has depots nationwide.

The administration includes Scottish subsidiary companies TOM Vehicle Rental Limited and Caledonian Truck & Van Limited.

In a statement the adminstrators said: "The group had faced challenging trading conditions in recent months. Considerable efforts had been made to restructure its operations and, when that proved too difficult, the owners marketed it for sale.

"Unfortunately, no suitable interested parties emerged from the sale process, due to the scale of the losses and the investment required to turn the business around. Due to the group’s lack of liquidity and increasing pressure from creditors, the directors had no option but to seek the appointment of administrators.

Dempster laid the blame at the door of low utilisation of rental vehicles as a result of comeptitoon and changing customer habits in recent years, which had lead to "incurred operational difficulties and associated liquidity problems".

He added: “Despite the best efforts to save the group, it could not continue to operate as a going concern and administrators were appointed.

"The administrators and fleet funders are contacting customers as a matter of urgency to ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place for them to experience as little disruption to service as possible.”

A total of 86 staff have been retained at TOM's head office in Airdrie and across the depot and dealership network for up to four weeks to assist the administrators with an orderly wind down of the business.

EY added that it was confident it would sell the business and assets of a third subsidiary, Alistair Fleming Limited based in Kilmarnock. The sale should see all 21 employees transferred to the new business.

TOM Vehcile Group has been majority owned by private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe since December 2016.

It acquired Transflex Vehicle Rental in August 2017, making it the third-largest light commercial rental business by assets in the UK.