PE Firms Progress to 2nd Round for British Car Auctions

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of private equity firms is expected to progress to the second round of the sale of second-hand car dealership British Car Auctions, people familiar with the matter said.

Buyout firms Bridgepoint, Cinven, BC Partners and Clayton Dubilier & Rice are all expected to go through to the next stage of the sale of the company, two sources familiar with the process said.

Owner Montagu Private Equity hopes the company, which sells more than 12,000 vehicles a week at auctions and over the Internet, could fetch up to 600 million pounds ($1 billion), banking sources have said.

UBS is handling the sale for Montagu, one of the sources said. The private equity firms involved declined to comment or were unavailable for comment.

European buyout firm Permira recently entered exclusive discussions to acquire another Montagu company, survival equipment maker Survitec.

Montagu, which also owns waste management firm Biffa and electronics retailer Maplin [MPETN.UL], bought British Car Auctions in 2006 for around 450 million pounds. (Reporting by Simon Meads, editing by Will Waterman)