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Fort Worth area firm makes two acquisitions

🕐 3 min read

Coming on the heels of its announcement that it is acquiring the claims-related products and services from the Sherwood group of companies in the United Kingdom, Solera Holdings Inc. said May 12 it will purchase 100 percent of the insurance and services division of Pittsburgh Glass Works LLC for $280 million in cash. Solera Holdings is a Westlake-based global provider of software and services to the automobile insurance claims processing and decision support industries. I&S provides software and business management tools, third-party claims administration, first notice of loss and network management services to the U.S. auto and property repair industries, specializing in glass claims. The acquisition will establish the only platform capable of addressing automobile repair, as well as automobile collision and glass claims management, in the U.S. market .

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Solera’s fiscal year ending June 30. “Since our founding in 2005, Solera has steadily increased value for our customers by consistently making the organic and inorganic investments required to build an unrivaled automotive technology platform across collision; service, maintenance, and repair; glass; and parts,” said Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder, chairman and CEO. “The acquisition will also add a strong management team, deepen our insurer relationships, create significant cross-selling opportunities and enable enhanced data analytics that the market has not yet been able to acquire from a single provider,” Aquila said. Earlier on May 12, Solera announced it has signed an agreement to acquire, through a series of transactions, the claims-related products and related intellectual property from the Sherwood group of companies. The business provides exchanges, settlement platforms and data analytics focused on the insurance industry in the United Kingdom, including car rental billing services and pet insurance claims, a market that has been growing in the double-digits with approximately one million policies in force today. The acquisition is subject to certain closing conditions and also is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Solera’s fiscal year ending June 30.

“The acquisition expands our platform to serve additional complementary areas of the household. The business will drive transactions from the fast-growing pet insurance market onto our platform in the UK, which we believe can expand into other markets,” said Aquila. The acquisition also will enhance Solara’s product offerings in the United Kingdom, where it owns HPI and CarWeb, Aquila added. On May 7, Solera Holdings reported revenue for the third quarter ended March 31, 2014, of $262.4 million, a 22.3 percent increase over the prior year third quarter revenue of $214.6 million. After adjusting for changes in foreign currency exchange rates, revenue for the third quarter increased by 21.9 percent over the prior year third quarter revenue. Net income for the third quarter was $19.9 million, a 7.4 percent decrease over prior year third quarter net income of $21.5 million. “Solera reported solid third quarter results that were highlighted by total constant currency revenue growth of 21.9 percent and constant currency organic revenue growth of 5.6 percent, which represents the third consecutive quarter of accelerating organic growth,” Aquila said.

“Our performance reflects early momentum in our service, maintenance and repair investments, strong performance in our driver behavior and monitoring platform and improving conditions in many of our markets. Additionally, we generated strong adjusted EBITDA margins even as we continue to invest in Mission 2020 execution and integrate recently acquired businesses.” On April 7 Solera purchased 100 percent of the equity interests of the AutoPoint companies from Service Repair Solutions Inc. through a joint venture with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a private equity firm. In January, one of the company’s subsidiaries completed an acquisition of 100 percent of Autosoft S.r.l. Autosoft is a leading Italian platform that provides workflow, damage assessment and claims management for insurance companies, vehicle repairers and assessors in Italy. For the 12 months ended March 31, 2014, I&S’ revenue and adjusted EBITDA were $58.8 million and $19.7 million, respectively. The structure of the acquisition will result in a 15-year tax benefit to Solera with an estimated present value of approximately $69 million. Solera Holdings Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SLH.

–Betty Dillard bdillard@bizpress.net  

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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