Description

Constellation Automotive Group (“Constellation”) is a leading operator of digital and physical used car auctions and associated ancillary automotive services in the UK and Continental Europe, with market leading positions in all its markets. In the UK, Constellation, operating under the brand of BCA Marketplace, is the largest integrated service provider across the vehicle life-cycle coming into contact with approximately 11 million unique vehicles annually and selling over 1 million used cars. The company operates the following businesses:

  • Vehicle Remarketing – #1 used vehicle marketplace in Europe;
  • Vehicle Buying – “We Buy Any Car” – vehicle buying service in the UK;
  • Automotive Services – transport, de-fleeting & refurbishment, logistics and other services for new and used cars;
  • Cinch – a UK online marketplace for the sale of quality used cars directly to consumers in October 2020.

Transaction

We have spent a significant amount of time in recent years analysing the automotive market generally and the automotive aftermarket more specifically. Our experience at LeasePlan, both as a significant seller of vehicles through B2B channels as well as through the creation of the high-quality used car European online marketplace CarNext.com, has given us a particular insight into the complex and fragmented value chain that characterises the automotive aftermarket across Europe.

Having reviewed a number of assets in the automotive aftermarket space, we were drawn to Constellation due to its unique and defensive business model, which was underpinned by the scale and breadth of its operations and its critical role in servicing the needs of the major players across the automotive landscape, such as dealers, fleet managers and leasing companies, car rental companies and OEMs.

In summer 2019 we agreed the terms of an offer for the Constellation shares and the take private of the company was completed in November 2019.

What we've done

Since TDR’s investment, Constellation has undergone a shift from physical to digital auctions with 100% of the remarketing activity in the UK now taking place online, marking a significant shift in the company’s operating model. Furthermore, in October 2020, Constellation launched Cinch in the UK, an online marketplace enabling Constellation to sell its stock of used cars directly to consumers and advancing the business on its path to become an end-to-end digital marketplace.