Bowmark and Five Arrows acquire Autodata

autodata

Bowmark Capital, the mid-market private equity firm, and Five Arrows Principal Investments, the private equity fund of the Rothschild Group, have acquired Autodata Publishing Group, Europe’s leading provider of technical information to the automotive aftermarket, for an enterprise value of £143 million.

Autodata publishes technical information on 17,000 vehicle models from 80 manufacturers.  Its products provide over 80,000 professional workshops with access to a comprehensive suite of up-to-date technical data and guidance on cars, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles, enabling them to carry out service, repair and diagnostic work.

The company was founded in 1975 by Richard Atherton and Dietmar Otto, is headquartered in Maidenhead and employs approximately 190 staff.

Repair and maintenance information has become increasingly important to automotive professionals, due to the growing complexity of modern cars, increasing model proliferation and the introduction of new technologies.

With its strong product range, and the high quality, breadth and accuracy of its data, Autodata has established itself as the leading supplier of essential technical information to the professional automotive aftermarket in Europe.  The company is well-positioned for future growth, driven by the continued enhancement of its content and information systems, increased penetration of new territories in both Europe and beyond, and further expansion into diagnostic applications.

Bowmark partner, Julian Masters, said:  “Autodata has an outstanding reputation in its marketplace.  Its products provide ’must have’ information to one of Europe’s most important industries, providing the mechanic with an invaluable work-flow tool across the entire European car fleet.  We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the management on the next exciting stage in the company’s development.”

Javed Khan, co-managing partner of Five Arrows, said: “The market opportunity for Autodata is compelling, based on the further development of its content and delivery channels, and there is also significant scope for geographic expansion.  We have been greatly impressed with the achievements of Rod and his management team, and look forward to working with them in the next phase of Autodata’s growth, in partnership with Bowmark Capital.”

UK, London & Maidenhead, Kent

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ACTIVE Network to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners.

activenetworkEvent management software maker ACTIVE Network is being acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners.

Vista will commence a tender offer to acquire all of Active Network’s common stock for $14.50 a share. That represents a 27.2% premium to Active Network’s Friday closing, the most recent trading day. Active’s board endorsed the offer, recommending that all stockholders tender their shares. This values the deal at $904 million. Any shares not tendered will be acquired in a second-step merger at the same cash price as the original offer.

vistaep“ACTIVE Network’s leadership position in cloud-based Activity and Participant Management™ (APM) solutions make it a highly attractive investment for us,” said Robert F. Smith, CEO and founder of Vista Equity Partners.  “We are looking forward to working with the ACTIVE team and continuing to drive the next phase of ACTIVE’s growth.”

  • Citi is serving as financial advisor to ACTIVE. 
  • BofA Merrill Lynch is serving as financial advisor to Vista.  
  • DLA Piper LLP (US) is acting as ACTIVE’s legal advisor. 
  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as Vista’s legal advisor. 
  • BofA Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, and BMO Capital Markets Corp. have agreed to provide debt financing in connection with the transaction.

ACTIVE Network plans to release its third quarter earnings after market close on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

USA, San Francisco, CA & San Diego, CA 

Permira acquires Ancestry.com for $1.6 billion

According to the Wall Streert Journal, European private-equity firm Permira is buying genealogy website Ancestry.com for $1.6 billion.

Ancestry.com has more than two million subscribers who pay at least $12.95 a month for its content and online tools. The purchase price is $32 a share and it includes vesting of outstanding options. The price is a 40 percent premium from the price when word of the company being offered for sale surfaced in June. As a result of the deal, Ancestry.com will carry  ”just under $1 billion” in debt.

The buyout group includes the private-equity firm’s co-investors; members of Ancestry.com’s management, including Chief Executive Tim Sullivan and Chief Financial Officer Howard Hochhauser; and Spectrum Equity, which owns about 30 percent of Ancestry.com.

USA, Utah & UK, London

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