Private equity firm Rutland Partners has invested in Aston Barclay, the car auction group. Aston Barclay currently operates from four sites in the UK and provides vehicle remarketing services to fleet and dealership vendors.
The business has invested heavily in recent years in both its auction sites and IT systems, which has produced strong growth. It has also established a reputation within the market for providing high levels of customer service.
The investment by Rutland Partners follows the appointment of Neil Hodson as CEO to oversee the next phase of Aston Barclay’s development, which is centred around a new auction site at Donington Park in the East Midlands. This site will initially cover six acres when it opens towards the end of 2017, including a sizeable covered auction area, and will expand to 18 acres in 2018. The group also plans further investment in IT, including a range of digital initiatives.
Oliver Jones, Partner at Rutland, said: “We are delighted to have completed our investment in Aston Barclay. The Donington site will deliver a step change in Aston Barclay’s offering to the market, and we look forward to working with Neil Hodson and his team in delivering this next phase of growth.”
The Scarborough family, who have owned Aston Barclay since 1984, will remain on the Board and continue to be significant shareholders in the business.
Laurence Vaughan is also joining the Board and investing as non-executive Chairman. Laurence has extensive automotive sector experience, initially as CEO and currently as non-executive Chairman of Sytner Group, a £5bn turnover dealership group in the UK.
The investment in Aston Barclay by Rutland Partners is the fifth investment from Rutland Fund III.
Neil Hodson, CEO of Aston Barclay, said: “Aston Barclay is a great business with some great people, sites and some excellent customers. Our partnership with Rutland, along with the Scarborough family’s continued investment in the business, will enable us to grow our auction network and the range of services we offer to our customers.”
Glenn Scarborough, Aston Barclay Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Rutland, Neil and his management team as investors in Aston Barclay. These are exciting times for the remarketing industry and we are confident the support and expertise of Rutland will enable Aston Barclay to exploit the opportunities for growth that the market has to offer.”