Buyout Firm Montagu Plots £250m Auto Merger
One of the City's leading investment firms is hatching a merger of two major suppliers of information to the world's automotive industry.
Sky News understands that Montagu Private Equity is drawing up plans to combine CAP, which it acquired nearly two years ago, with Autodata, a privately-owned business, to form a new industry powerhouse.
Autodata has been put up for sale by its board, which has appointed Livingstone Partners, an advisory firm, to handle the sale.
The deal has attracted interest from at least a dozen potential buyers, according to people close to the situation, with Autodata expected to be valued at somewhere in the region of £50m.
Montagu's interest stems from its ownership of CAP, which it bought from Top Right Group - formerly Emap, the media conglomerate - in 2012 for £170m.
While its usual approach is not to merge its portfolio companies, sources confirmed that Montagu was interested in combining the two companies.
If successfully completed, the buyout firm would then seek to float or sell the merged entity in the coming years amid growing demand from the automotive after-market for robust data.
Autodata supplies information about 17,000 models produced by 80 vehicle manufacturers, giving professional workshops access to the relevant manufacturers' information needed for service repair and diagnostic work.
Montagu has experience of he automotive data market, having previously invested in businesses including British Car Auctions and Trader Media Group.
Montagu and Livingstone Partners declined to comment.
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