Livingstone’s Media & Technology team has advised mid-market private equity firm Bowmark Capital and the corporate private equity business of Rothschild Merchant Banking, Five Arrows Principal Investments, on the sale of Autodata to Solera Holdings, Inc. for a consideration of £340m.
Livingstone had previously advised the founders of Autodata on its £143m sale to Bowmark and Five Arrows Principal Investments in May 2014 and subsequently advised Solera on its £288m acquisition of CAP Automotive in November 2014. Established in 1975, Autodata publishes technical information on approximately 40,000 vehicle models from 136 manufacturers. Its products provide over 90,000 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.
Solera is a leading provider of risk and asset management software and services to the automotive and property marketplace and was itself taken private in 2016 in a $6.5bn transaction backed by investors including Vista Equity Partners, Koch Industries and Goldman Sachs.
Since Bowmark and Five Arrows Principal Investments invested in the company, Autodata has significantly enhanced its content and technology platform and expanded its customer base in Europe and Australia. It has also made three strategic acquisitions, in France, Sweden and Finland. Its latest online product, which attracts over 840,000 page views per day, provides an essential workflow tool to over 120,000 automotive technicians, enabling them to conduct their day-to-day activities efficiently and effectively.
Julian Masters, Partner at Bowmark, said: “Livingstone introduced us to Autodata in early 2014 as part of a highly competitive sale process and we were delighted at that time to have acquired the company alongside our partners at Five Arrows. We are very pleased with the sound advice and hands-on support that Livingstone provided to us throughout the exit process.”
Javed Khan, Co-Managing Partner at Five Arrows Principal Investments, added: “Livingstone was the obvious choice to advise us given their sector credentials and the fact that they were trusted by ourselves and Autodata’s management team as well as by Solera, with whom they had worked successfully in the past. We are all delighted with the outcome.”
Richard Fetterman, Partner at Livingstone, commented: “We are very pleased have advised on another successful Autodata transaction. It has been a pleasure to work again with Bowmark, Five Arrows Principal Investments, the company’s impressive management team, led by Rod Williams, and Solera which we all believe is the natural owner of the business. I am sure that Autodata will continue to go from strength to strength in this new chapter. This transaction once again demonstrates the inherent value of subscription-based information services businesses, an arena in which Livingstone has proven itself numerous times.”