At the time of its management buyout, the NCA Group – National Car Auctions – was part of dairy and food products group Unigate plc. NCA was deemed non-core to Unigate who agreed to sell the business to Cinven in January 1995. The experienced management team and had already proved itself capable of growing NCA into the second largest player in the UK car auctions market with six auction centres around the country.
The opportunity Cinven saw was to continue to grow NCA by acquiring other auction businesses and completing its national coverage. Execution of this plan was more practicable with NCA in Cinven’s ownership than as a non-core part of a food group.
The management team successfully fulfilled Cinven’s strategic goals. NCA achieved satisfactory growth, repaid all of its acquisition debt and completed an acquisition. In 1998 an offer was received from a strategic buyer and the sale to Independent Car Auctions was concluded in March of that year.
Multiple received on investment: 3x