TOM Group – parent company of TOM Vehicle Rental and Caledonian Truck & Van - has gone into administration following challenging trading conditions.
The commercial vehicle hire, sales and services business, employed 428 people and operated a fleet of more than 16,000 commercial vehicles, including vans, trucks, trailers and cars from 15 depots nationwide.
Eighty-six members of staff will continue to work at the group’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 and respond to any customer queries.
EY (Ernst & Young) has been appointed as administrator and is confident it will be able to sell the business and assets of third subsidiary Alistair Fleming Ltd. The sale will see all 21 employees transferred to the new business.
Colin Dempster, joint administrator, said: “The group has incurred operational difficulties and associated liquidity problems in recent years that reflect low utilisation of their rental vehicle, as a result of a competitive market and changing customer preferences.
“Despite the best efforts to save the group, it could not continue to operate as a going concern and administrators were appointed.
“It is with regret that 342 people have been made redundant.
“Our specialist team will work with those affected to help them claim outstanding wages and other payments due from the Redundancy Payments Office.”
EY said considerable efforts had been made to restructure the group’s 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 added: “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.”