CAP opens the door to Europe with the acquisition of DMS

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AN automotive intelligence firm has secured an acquisition which gives it a foothold in mainland Europe.

CAP Automotive has acquired Derwent Management Services (DMS) for an undisclosed sum.

DMS provides performance monitoring and risk management information to the automotive sectors in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. It also has a presence in France.

The acquisition, which is described as “a natural fit” by CAP chief executive Ian Rendle, will bring new data assets into CAP’s portfolio.

CAP and DMS already serve many of the same customers.

Montague Private Equity acquired the Leeds business for £170m in 2012, and it has allowed CAP to unleash new investment to hit ambitious growth targets.

Mr Rendle said: “This is one of the most logical and significant moments in CAP’s history and it represents a major step forward in our growth ambitions.

“It is particularly exciting to have secured a route into several mainland European markets.

“Many of our customers are pan-European and CAP has long held the ambition to serve them outside the confines of the UK, wherever we can bring insight, value and commercial advantage. Now we have the opportunity to do that.”

Derwent Management Services is based in Ludlow, Shropshire, from where its team will continue to operate as an arm of CAP Automotive, under the leadership of managing director Keith Darby, who will report to Mr Rendle.

DMS founder and chairman Andrew Abbott will retire from the business following the acquisition.

Derwent Management Services employs 16 staff and its reported turnover last year was £1.3m.

CAP Automotive has 138 staff, and its turnover last year was around £23m.

CAP was founded by two Skipton car dealers in the mid 1970s.

The company is dominant in many of its markets and made an early move into digital publishing. It collates large amounts of data about vehicles.