Private equity giant set to make offer on car auction firm

 
Sebastian McCarthy
Used car orders fell by five per cent in the first quarter of 2018 on the previous year
Used car orders fell by five per cent in the first quarter of 2018 on the previous year (Source: Getty)

London-based private equity giant Apax Partners yesterday confirmed it is considering the possibility of making an offer for WeBuyAnyCar owner BCA Marketplace.

BCA, which is better known as British Car Auctions, provides a swathe of automotive services and is currently valued at £1.7bn.

Speculation around the firm's future ownership comes after a tough year for the car sales market, as used car orders dropped by five per cent in the first quarter of 2018 on the previous year.

Read more: WeBuyAnyCar owner rejects takeover offer from private equity firm Apax

In a statement, the private equity firm said: "Apax confirms that it is in the early stages of considering an offer for BCA to be made by a new entity controlled by funds advised by Apax".

The possible deal was first reported by Sky News over the weekend.

Interest from private equity firms arose in the first quarter of the year, after the company's shares dropped by nearly a third.

Read more: Used car fintech startup Oodle has grabbed £100m of funding from Citigroup

According to stock market rules, Apex said it has a deadline ending on 8 July to make any offers.

Avril Palmer-Baunack, the sitting chief executive of BMA, was previously in charge of Stobart Group, the infrastructure firm.

BCA's pre-tax profits in the six months leading up to October last year reached £34.9m, and the firm's shares closed on Friday at 211p.

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