Phoenix Equity Partners has sold car status information provider HPI to Aviva, a subsidiary of Norwich Union Plc for £120m, in just over a year since its original investment. Phoenix acquired HPI in a secondary buyout from 3i in June 2003 for £70m.
Since Phoenix acquired the business it has worked with the management team to develop the core business and introduce innovative products, which in turn has accelerated HPI’s growth. Among theses products has been the launch of Exchange, a new web publishing system for motor dealers, which provides simple, accurate and timely advertising on the Internet.
Founded in 1938, HPI has built a database of information on all motor vehicles in the UK. This information plays a vital role in the prevention of fraud in the sale and financing of vehicles.
Andrew Deakin of Phoenix, said: “We are very pleased with the performance of HPI and with our investment in the business over the course of the past 14 months. We understood the real value of the core business and spotted the opportunity to roll-out new products working closely with a very professional management team.”
Travers Smith Braithwaite advised Phoenix on the sale.