Montagu confirms BCA deal

Montagu Private Equity has confirmed that it will acquire British Car Auctions (BCA) from a private consortium of 40 investors including Conservative party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft. The buyer refused to disclose the price but reports suggested it would be around £450m (US$837m) including debt.

The Tory peer, who is expected to receive £200m from the deal, picked up his stake in the company in 1995. It was sold then by security group ADT, chaired at the time by Ashcroft, for £215m. Another investor is Cenkos corporate financier Nicholas Wells, who has advised Ashcroft in the past.

BCA has agreed to the offer, despite approaches from buyout specialist CVC Capital, which owns the AA rescue service in conjunction with Permira, and Auto Trader.

The sale should be completed by the end of October, once cleared by the German competition authorities. PricewaterhouseCoopers advised Montagu and RBS provided acquisition finance.

Linklaters acted as legal adviser to Montagu.