We’re more used to hearing about investment funds that buy classic cars (although these generally seem to sink without a trace) but now private equity firm Charme Capital Partners have invested in a classic car specialist instead.
If you’re not familiar with JD Classics then you should have. One of the leading classic sales, restoration and racing specialists in the UK/World JD have been around since the eighties and are the official works race team for Jaguar Works Heritage Racing as well as having a turnover in the tens of millions.
According to Charme’s website they have acquired a majority stake in JD Classics while founder Derek Hood retains a significant stake and remains to work with Charme and their co-investors. No details of the transaction have been released.
“Charme and co-investors will invest significant capital in the company to maintain the best service offering for JDC’s valued customers; this will enable an international retail footprint”
This is an interesting development as franchised dealer groups eye opportunities in the classic car sector and new foreign markets look set to open up, albeit gradually. The news was released on the same day that RM Sotheby’s London auction indicated that interest in classic car investment remains strong globally.
The Charme III fund “targets fast growing mid-market companies with an enterprise value of €100m to €500m, where it can partner with shareholders and management teams to unlock potential and deliver transformational growth, both organically and through M&A. This allows companies to reinforce their market positioning and in many cases to expand internationally” according to Charme Capital Partners.
You can read the full press release provided by Charme Capital Partners below.
London, 7 September 2016:
Charme Capital Partners (“Charme”), the pan-European mid-market private equity firm, announces that Charme III has acquired a majority stake in JD Classics (“the company”). As part of the transaction Derek Hood, founder of JD Classics, will retain a significant stake and partner with Charme and the co-investors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in the 1980s in the UK, Derek Hood has built JD Classics into the pre-eminent specialist in retail, restoring, racing and exporting premium classic road and race cars worldwide with deep expertise in Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes, and Maserati, among others. The company today employs 60 expert technicians, craftsmen and engineers across its purpose-built engineering and sales complex in Maldon and its showroom in Mayfair, London.
The company provides its global base of customers with a full-service offering, from sales and after-sales; restoration and upgrading; to racing and lifestyle services. Services also include worldwide collection/delivery/storage, financing, entry to high-profile events, bespoke vehicle commissions, driver training, on-site race support, and logistics.
JD Classics is a main partner of the most famous classic racing events in the world: the Mille Miglia, Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic. JD Classics also has trophy cabinets full from winning the world’s leading classic car concours events such as Pebble Beach and historic races such as the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic.
As part of the transaction, Charme and co-investors will invest significant capital in the company to maintain the best service offering for JDC’s valued customers; this will enable an international retail footprint, additional team hires and continued access to unique classic cars. Specifically, Charme and JD Classics have already identified a number of compelling opportunities to accelerate the company’s international growth in the large, liquid market for classic cars across the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including potential acquisitions. The partnership will also provide JD Classics with access to Charme’s unique global investor base, which includes many of the world’s leading industrialist families.
Charme’s investment in JD Classics is the firm’s first in a UK-based business, and follows the launch of its London office in November 2015. The investment is the second made from Charme III to date, following the July 2016 acquisition of Spanish reproductive genetic testing company Igenomix.
Christopher Fielding, Partner at Charme Capital Partners, said:
“JD Classics represents a fantastic opportunity for Charme to support a national champion and to cement its place as a global leader. Working in partnership with Derek Hood and his talented team with the support of our unique investor base, we plan to help JD Classics build on its impressive growth, while protecting what makes the company unique: its expertise, passion and customer focus.”
Derek Hood, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of JD Classics, said:
“This is an exciting development for JD Classics and I am delighted to be partnering with Charme Capital Partners. I have always had a clear vision for JD Classics and for the potential of the classic car business internationally supplying the very best prepared classic cars, a vision that is shared by Charme. They have the right mindset, approach and track record to take the business I have built over the past 30 years to the next stage, and I look forward to being part of that journey.”
About JD Classics
JD Classics is the leading premium Classic Car business, providing restoration, sales and related lifestyle and racing services to its global customer base. Over the past three decades the company has built a world-class reputation for quality, expertise, and passion.
JD Classics works for both private and trade customers all over the world, helping its clientele with everything they need for buying/selling, owning and enjoying their cars. This includes sales and after-sales; restoration and upgrading; and a wide-range of racing and lifestyle services.
JD Classics employs 60 expert in-house technicians, craftsmen and engineers across its 100,000 sq/ft facility in Maldon and a dedicated showroom in Mayfair.
About Charme Capital Partners
Charme Capital Partners is based in London, Milan and Madrid, and is the manager of the Charme Funds. The firm was founded in 2003 and is backed by a unique combination of institutional LPs and prominent global industrialists. Since inception, the Charme Funds have raised over €1bn and invested with a pan-European approach in companies with strong growth and internationalisation prospects.
Charme III was launched in 2015 with a pan-European investment strategy focused on mid-market investments across a range of business sectors in Europe, with a particular focus on UK, Spain and Italy. It targets fast growing mid-market companies with an enterprise value of €100mn to €500mn, where it can partner with shareholders and management teams to unlock potential and deliver transformational growth, both organically and through M&A. This will allow companies to reinforce their market positioning and in many cases to expand internationally.
Previous investments made by the Charme Funds include in luxury goods Poltrona Frau Group (global leader in high-end design furniture) in technology Octo Telematics (world leader in insurance telematics) and in healthcare Bellco (leading provider of blood purification devices).
Images courtesy of JD Classics/Michael Baillie