Candover buys EurotaxGlasss

Candover, a UK-based buyout firm, has agreed to acquire EurotaxGlass’s Group, a provider of automotive data and intelligence services, for an enterprise value of €480m (US$618.8m/£326.2m).

The deal provides an exit for US-based buyout peer HM Capital Partners, which renamed itself in March from Hicks Muse Tate & Furst after spinning off its European arm as Lion Capital last year. Lion Capital had continued to manage EurotaxGlass’s after the separation.

EurotaxGlass’s had been put up for sale at the start of the year in an auction handled by JPMorgan, which had hoped to raise a reported £340m.

Hicks Muse bought Glass’s Group, which published used car dealers’ bible Glass’s Guides, in 1998 for £126m from Duke Street Capital and US private equity firm Caxton-Iseman and merged it with German publishing peer Eurotax two years later in a transaction valued at £180m.

The deal is the second from Candover’s €3.5bn fund closed in November, which will retain Kevin Gaskell as chief executive and concentrate on the UK, German, Swiss and Austrian markets.

Charlie Green, managing director of Candover, said: “ETG occupies a unique position as the only provider of comprehensive automotive intelligence on a pan-European basis.”

Debt and mezzanine financing is being arranged and underwritten by Bank of Scotland.

Goldman Sachs and LongAcre Partners advised Candover with PricewaterhouseCoopers (accountancy), Deloitte (tax) and Clifford Chance (legal).