Osborne Clarke has advised the management team of Evolution Funding on its secondary private equity transaction with global investment firm Carlyle.
Carlyle has acquired Evolution, the UK’s largest used auto finance platform, investing alongside Evolution’s founders and existing investor LDC. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Osborne Clarke's Management Advisory Group provided legal advice to the management team of Evolution. The team was led by private equity partner and head of the Management Advisory Group Mike Freer and included senior associate Lottie Brewster and associate Matt Mayes.
Based in Chesterfield, UK, Evolution is a technology-led motor finance platform that connects car dealers and auto finance providers with multiple lenders. Since it was founded in 2002, the business has grown to become the largest used car finance marketplace in the UK with its funding platform widely embedded across UK automotive dealerships. It has c. 500 employees and supports over 4,000 dealer forecourts.
It also has brand partnerships with the AA and fintech services like Experian and ClearScore, which offer access to direct-to-consumer channels. In the last twelve months, Evolution has enabled nearly 150,000 financing transactions with a total platform volume in excess of GBP 2 billion. Over the last four years, the business has almost quadrupled the total volume of advances it enables along with doubling its employee headcount.
Equity for the investment was provided by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (“CETP”) V, a €3 billion fund which invests in technology companies across Europe. CETP will work with management to support Evolution’s growth in the used car finance market by working to expand the range of dealers’ product offerings on its interface and in doing so becoming an enablement platform for additional sales, developing a digital lead-generation capability, and exploring consolidation of the fragmented motor finance market through further M&A.
CETP was advised by Houlihan Lokey, DLA, Alvarez & Marsal, LEK and Seedcloud.
Evolution Funding and LDC were advised by Arma Partners, Gowling WLG, KPMG, OC&C and Crosslake.
Osborne Clarke’s private equity team is considered a go-to practice for many companies in the technology and financial sectors, working with clients ranging from global businesses to fast-growth start-ups and market challengers. The team advises at every stage of company development across all corporate issues, from equity and debt fundraisings to M&A, IPOs and JVs.