Constellation Automotive Group

Creating an end-to-end digital platform in the used car market
Europe’s leading end-to-end digital marketplace for the sale of used cars C2B, B2B and B2C, supported by associated logistics and ancillary services

Constellation Automotive Group is the largest vertically integrated digital used car marketplace in Europe. Constellation trades over 1.5 million vehicles and £12bn GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) annually across 10 main European countries and three leading, integrated and fully digital marketplaces:

WeBuyAnyCar is a leading C2B online car buying platform in the UK, providing over 16 million used car valuations a year and allowing hundreds of thousands of consumers to sell their car online each year.

BCA is the leading B2B fully-digital used car marketplace, trading over 1.5 million cars through its online and app-based auction platform each year on behalf of corporate customers and supported by car remarketing services across Europe.

Cinch is the UK’s leading B2C online used car marketplace, which allows its 30 million unique visitors a year to part-exchange their car and buy or finance quality-checked used cars online and have them delivered to their home.

  • At a glance
  • Status: Unrealised
  • Deal Type: Public to Private
  • Sector: Business / Consumer Services
  • Initial Investment Date: November 2019
  • Website: www.constellationautomotive.com

Transaction

We spent a significant amount of time 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, gave us particular insight into the complex and fragmented value chain that characterises the automotive aftermarket across Europe.

After reviewing several assets in the 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 Constellation and the take-private of the company was completed in November 2019.

Since TDR’s investment

  • Constellation has successfully shifted from physical to digital auctions with 100% of the remarketing activity now taking place online
  • Cinch, launched in October 2020, quickly established itself as the largest online B2C marketplace for used cars in the UK and the brand has become a major sponsor of well-known sports teams and events.
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Gross Merchandise Value
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Vehicles traded
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