CAP Automotive fuels accelerated growth ambitions with the acquisition of Derwent Management Services

CAP AUTOMOTIVE has acquired Derwent Management Services in a move that will strengthen the quality and breadth of its data and services to fleets, manufacturers and consumers and give the business a foothold in mainland Europe. 

Derwent Management Services (DMS) is a top flight provider of performance monitoring, risk management and benchmarking information, focused on the automotive sectors of the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. It has also recently established a presence in France. 

The acquisition, which is described as “a natural fit” by CAP CEO Ian Rendle, will bring new best-of-breed data assets into CAP’s portfolio while boosting the capacity of DMS to accelerate delivery of newly developed innovative data and tools to the market. 

Both businesses have enjoyed a close relationship ever since Derwent Management Services was launched by chairman Andrew Abbott in 1995. CAP and DMS already both serve many of the same customers among manufacturers and fleets. 

DMS’s class-leading Service, Maintenance & Repair (SMR) data will strengthen CAP’s Gold Book forecasting system and feed into its consumer-facing ‘Total Cost of Motoring’ tool. And the increased capacity and investment enabled by the acquisition will accelerate the market penetration of DMS solutions such as SMR BurnRate and SMR Franchise Utilisation. 

SMR BurnRate analyses the performance of components within 400,000 vehicle records to enable creation of pinpoint accurate maintenance budgets and more competitive rate-setting for fleets. For OEMs it identifies both problems and areas where competitive advantage can be demonstrated. 

SMR Franchise Utilisation helps manufacturers maximise the utilisation of their own servicing networks by analysing and reporting on leasing company data to enable promotion of increased franchise loyalty. 

The synergies of those and DMS’s other data solutions with CAP’s existing flagship products for the manufacturer and fleet/leasing sectors represent a significant step toward full-service provision of data and insight by CAP Automotive for both sectors. 

The presence of DMS’s successful leasing sector product ‘Insight Pricing’ in the Netherlands and Belgium also gives CAP a foothold in mainland Europe as it seeks to grow into new regions as well as new markets, powered by investment from Montagu Private Equity, which acquired the business in 2012. 

Derwent Management Services is based in Ludlow, Shropshire, from where its full team will continue to operate as an arm of CAP Automotive under the leadership of managing director Keith Darby, who will report to CAP CEO Ian Rendle. DMS founder and chairman Andrew Abbott will retire from the business following the acquisition. 

Ian 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. 

“The acquisition of Derwent Management Services maximises the synergies that already exist between two businesses whose top-flight data already works brilliantly together in systems across our industry and they are a natural fit for us. 

“We are already enjoying accelerated growth in the quality, depth and breadth of our data products and have successfully redefined and launched the CAP Consulting division. Now the impetus of major investment will bring similar benefits of capacity to our new colleagues who made Derwent Management Services the success it is today. 

“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. 

“But first we will be focused on the integration of DMS into CAP Automotive, ensuring continuity and a business-as-usual sense for all customers. Behind the scenes, however, there will be some very interesting and powerful product developments and enhancements in the pipeline as we seek to create maximum impact and value to our customers from this acquisition” 

Keith Darby said: “We already know each other’s customers well and we have worked together with CAP since day one, so the proposition of weaving our business into CAP Automotive is compelling. 

“Strategically this acquisition also fits the ambitions of the team in Ludlow because we have constantly striven over the last ten years to move beyond benchmarking toward bigger data provision. The direction we have taken has therefore created increasing similarities with CAP and the time is now right to bring all our strengths together.”