Fleet News

BCA promises ‘unrivalled’ network

BCA, BCA buys Paragon, Paragon.

BCA Marketplace is promising an “unrivalled network of refurbishment, fleet management and remarketing centres for fleets of all sizes”, after it bought Paragon Automotive.

It will pay an initial £105 million for the business, with further earn-out payments of up to a maximum of £30m, subject to the achievement of financial and market targets through 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The acquisition, it said, was an “important further step” in the progression of its strategy of delivering a broad-based automotive support service business which could handle vehicles throughout their lifecycle.

Paragon, headquartered in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, and operating across a total of 12 locations, which will all be retained by BCA, provides outsourced vehicle services to major fleet operators, including rental, leasing and corporate fleets and motor manufacturers.

It was launched in 2005 and has expanded rapidly through a series of acquisitions including Autocare UK, QEK, significant elements of the Camden Group and in 2013 Stobart Vehicle Services.

The company employs more than 1,250 staff and has more than 600 acres of storage, land and refurbishment facilities across the UK. Last year, Paragon processed more than 600,000 vehicles from its facilities.

A BCA spokesman told Fleet News: “Paragon Automotive is a great fit with BCA and extends both our national network of sites and the range of services we can offer our customers.

“Paragon adds capacity to our portside operations and enhances our new, in-life and used services.

“Along with our recent acquisition of Ambrosetti, we now have an unrivalled network of refurbishment, fleet management and remarketing centres. This creates flexibility and efficiency for fleets of all sizes.”

He added: “Fleets of all sizes will now benefit from a comprehensive end-to-end service. From vehicle ordering to vehicle preparation through to appointment booking and vehicle handover, a full service can be delivered through a national network.”

Promising that it will be “business as usual” at Paragon, with the senior management team led by chief executive Ian Carlisle retained, the deal is the latest acquisition by BCA following its own acquisition for £1.2 billion by Haversham Holdings in spring last year.

The BCA Group of companies was immediately renamed BCA Marketplace and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Avril Palmer-Baunack, BCA executive chairman, said: “The acquisition gives us a key component in our transformation of BCA to the pre-eminent managed vehicle services provider to the UK and ultimately European automotive industry.”

Palmer-Baunack continued: “Following this transaction, the company sees significant potential to grow this new division organically as well as delivering operating synergies.”

It is the latest in a string of acquisitions by BCA under the leadership of Palmer-Baunack which includes: the Scottish Motor Auction Group, car transporter business Stobart Automotive and automotive services provider Ambrosetti.

The BCA family also includes the well-known Webuyanycar.com brand.

BCA, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year,  can trace its roots back to when founder David Wickins staged a sale in a marquee at Frimley Bridges in 1946 selling 14 cars.

Today, it manages more than 1.5m cars a year in the UK from the dock to defleet, and touches more than 3.5m vehicles a year across the UK and Europe, working with fleet operators, motor manufacturers and dealers.

Simon Henstock, BCA chief operating officer for UK Remarketing, has nearly 40 years of experience with the company.

He said: “Auctions are the stock market of the used car sector and handle everything from nearly-new models to older high mileage examples.

“This flexibility, and the capability to handle huge volumes of vehicles quickly and efficiently, is why vehicle auctions continue to thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

He concluded: “As the market leaders, BCA has evolved to meet these changing needs, improving the service to customers and offering different ways to buy.”

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