Update:‘Credible’ bid could save part of City Link business

Parcels company CityLink went into administration on Christmas Day.

Parcels company CityLink went into administration on Christmas Day. - Credit: PA

Workers facing redundancy from collapsed courier firm City Link were offered a glimmer of hope today when it was claimed that there had been a “credible bid” to save part of the business.

Staff at the company, many of whom learnt of its collapse on Christmas Day, have been warned to expect “substantial redundancies” among its 2,727-strong workforce,which includes 48 people based at a depot in Chelmsford and 44 in Norwich.

But they were offered a small degree of hope after Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, disclosed unconfirmed details of a possible rescue, with Business Secretary Vince Cable said to be aware of developments.

He said: “Within the past 24 hours RMT has been made aware of what we believe to be a credible bid to take over some or all of the City Link trading operation.

“At this stage we have no further details and we understand the matter is in the hands of the administrators with the Government and Vince Cable aware of the situation.

“With today key in terms of redundancies RMT is urging the administrators to suspend the redundancy process and work with the Government and the administrators to urgently evaluate and act on any viable options that could keep City Link trading as a going concern.”

Mr Cable’s department said queries about the potential bid should be made to administrators at EY. EY did not immediately have a response to the RMT’s claim.

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It came as members of the RMT were due to protest outside the company’s offices and depot in Baginton, Coventry.

Mr Cash has claimed that the treatment of City Link’s employees exposed a “cosy relationship between bandit capitalism” and the political elite.

The protest comes a day after a Staffordshire-based parcel delivery company said it was set to make up to 100 jobs available to workers axed by City Link.

APC Overnight said it would give priority to former City Link staff in filling vacancies at its national sorting centre in Cannock.

Administrators estimate that around 30,000 parcels are still being held at City Link depots around the country.

Customers who have sent parcels and intended recipients are being advised that depots remain open for items to be picked up between 8am and 8pm.

EY said in a statement: “The volume of parcels currently in the City Link network is low, and all depots will be open until approximately January 6.

“Customers and recipients can locate which depot their parcel is being held in using the City Link website.”

Speaking earlier this week, the founder of City Link’s parent company denied the firm’s collapse was mishandled and apologised to workers who found out on Christmas Day that they would lose their jobs.

Jon Moulton said the directors of Better Capital, which owns the parcel delivery firm, were “very sorry” about its collapse and the “horrible” effects for its workforce.