Bowmark and Five Arrows acquire Autodata

  • May 2014
  • Media & Technology
  • Sell-Side
  • UK
  • Private Company Sale

Livingstone’s Media & Technology sector team is pleased to announce the sale of Autodata Publishing Group to mid-market private equity house Bowmark Capital and the private equity fund of the Rothschild Group, Five Arrows Principal Investments, for a reported enterprise value of £143 million. Livingstone advised the shareholders of Autodata on the transaction.

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

The company is Europe’s leading provider of technical information to the automotive aftermarket, publishing 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.

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.

Richard Atherton, Autodata’s Chairman and co-founder, commented: “We chose Livingstone to look for a buyer who would provide the support needed for Autodata’s next stages of development. Livingstone handled the sales process with skill and a firm touch and provided both the shareholders and the management team with sensitive guidance throughout. We are delighted that Livingstone has achieved the twin goals that we set for them: a really pleasing financial result for the shareholders and a sound home for the company.”

Richard Fetterman, Partner at Livingstone, added: “Autodata is a world class business and this was reflected in the huge amount of interest that we received from both strategic and financial acquirers. We are delighted to have concluded a sale to Bowmark and Five Arrows who we are sure will be good custodians of the business.”


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  • “We chose Livingstone to look for a buyer who would provide the support needed for Autodata’s next stages of development. Livingstone handled the sales process with skill and a firm touch and provided both the shareholders and the management team with sensitive guidance throughout. We are delighted that Livingstone has achieved the twin goals that we set for them: a really pleasing financial result for the shareholders and a sound home for the company.”
    Richard Atherton, ex-Chairman, Autodata

Transaction Team