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28 July 20232 minute read

DLA Piper advises Carlyle on its acquisition of Evolution Funding

Global investment firm Carlyle has agreed to acquire Evolution Funding, the UK’s largest used auto finance platform.

Evolution Funding (Evolution) is a technology-led motor finance platform that connects car dealers and auto finance providers with multiple lenders. Since being founded in 2002, the business has grown to become the largest used car finance marketplace in the UK. It has approximately 500 employees and supports over 4,000 dealer forecourts, including national car dealerships and major online-only used car dealers. In the last twelve months, Evolution has enabled nearly 150,000 financing transactions with a total platform volume exceeding GBP2 billion.

Carlyle’s investment builds on recent strategic acquisitions made by Evolution. Equity for the investment will be provided by Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) V, a EUR3 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 mergers and acquisitions.

Andy Phillips led our cross-practice team advising Carlyle, with Corporate support from Helen Tsang, Ben Wilson, Dan Dainty and Aarmaan Hussain, and Finance support from Matt Christmas, Alexander Yeramian and Claire Dyer. Antony Hainsworth provided FCA regulatory advice and Laura Marcelli gave W&I advice.

Commenting on the deal, Andy Phillips said: “We are absolutely delighted to have advised Carlyle on this deal. Evolution is a market leading business in its markets, and I have no doubt that the partnership between the business and Carlyle will take Evolution to the next level. The deal was a fantastic DLA Piper team effort as always. Thanks to Carlyle for getting us involved and thanks to everyone at DLA Piper who helped to deliver a fantastic result”.

The transaction is subject to FCA approval.