Ohio-based OEConnection Holdings completes acquisition of Clifford Thames in Chelmsford

OEConnection Holdings has completed its acquisition of vehicle data management firm Clifford Thames.

OEConnection Holdings has completed its acquisition of vehicle data management firm Clifford Thames. Picture: Clifford Thames/JournoLink - Credit: Archant

United States automotive technology provider OEConnection Holdings (OEC) has completed its acquisition of Essex-based vehicle data management company Clifford Thames.

OEC, based in Cleveland, Ohio, agreed the deal last month with private equity investor LDC, which backed a management buyout at Clifford Thames (CT)in 2014. The sale price has not been disclosed.

CT, which has its headquarters in Chelmsford and six overseas offices, serves customers in more than 120 countries, creating and managing data required for the repair and maintenance of vehicles on behalf of manufacturers, repairers and leasing and fleet companies.

The enlarged OEC company now has 13 offices spread across four continents. It will retain its head office in Cleveland but with CT continuing to operate from its Chelmsford site,

Chuck Rotuno, chairman and chief executive of OEC, said: “The combination of CT and OEC means great opportunity for the industry.

“The new OEC is the only global one-stop shop that provides the means for automakers and dealerships around the world to deliver parts and service information quickly and accurately into the hands of repairers in collision, fleet, mechanical and retail segments, as well as their own service lanes, through a suite of parts cataloguing, supply chain, pricing, ecommerce, service and business intelligence solutions.”

Calvin Barnett, president of CT. added: “Separately, OEC and CT were leaders in our respective categories. Together, we are now the leader across all categories, with solutions and innovations that work together synergistically to enable us to better serve our current and future customers.”

Davis Noell, managing director of Providence Equity Partners, the majority owner of OEC, said: “We are excited to once again make a significant investment in OEC that is not only highly synergistic, but transformational to the business.

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“Both OEC and CT had record years in 2016 with revenue growth in excess of 20% and combined now have over US$130m in revenues, setting up OEC to capitalize on further opportunities ahead.”

CT relocated to Chelmsford in 2001, having previously been based at Hutton, near Brentwood. The business moved into data management in 1978, before which it was based largely on printing. The company was originally established in 1948 in north London as a publisher of local newspapers, which were sold in 1957.