Based in Chelmsford, Essex, Clifford Thames manages information on millions of car parts which is used by manufacturers and leasing companies to manage vehicle repairs and maintenance. Its customers include Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and VW Group.
Operating from offices in seven countries across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and employing almost 500 people, the business was originally founded in 1948 as a publisher of local newspapers, including the Stoke Newington and Hackney Observer. It evolved into data services in the 1970s after selling off its newspaper publishing interests.
In August 2014 LDC backed the £50million management buyout of Clifford Thames. The growth strategy was to expand its services in new overseas markets. Clifford Thames subsequently made two strategic acquisitions, AC Autoconsult in Germany and a Ford Electronic Parts Catalogue platform.
In 2017 Clifford Thames' management team were awarded the South East Mid-Market Team of the Year at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Management Team Awards.The Awards recognise and reward brilliant businesses backed by UK private equity and venture capital investors up and down the country. Shortly after this award win, Clifford Thames’ Chief Financial Officer, Richard West picked up the title, Private Equity Backed FD of the Year at the FDs’ Excellence Awards.
In June 2017 Clifford Thames was acquired by OEConnection Holdings the US-based e-commerce technology group, from LDC. The sale generates a money multiple of 2.7x and IRR of 47 per cent for LDC, over the three year period.
Based in Ohio, OEConnection Holdings owns OEC, the auto industry’s leading provider of e-commerce technology for original equipment manufacturers’ distribution networks.