Cars
British Car Auctions may be sold to private buyers, after its IPO failed last year.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A long-anticipated sale of Britain's largest used car business might soon be concluded, according to Sky News.

British Car Auctions (BCA) is set to be bought by Haversham Holdings – a listed consortium formed by some of the City's largest investors, including Aviva Investors, Artemis, Invesco and Schroders.

Haversham is raising £1.2bn for the deal.

Set up last year Haversham aims to buy "substantial companies and businesses in the UK and European automotive, support services, leasing, engineering or manufacturing sectors".

It is headed by Avril Palmer-Baunack, who previously ran the vehicle logistics business Autologic and hauliers Stobart.

One of the supporters of the takeover is Woodford Investment Management, which has recently been set up by Neil Woodford.

A statement responding to news of the takeover plan could be made to the Stock Exchange as early as Monday, although inside sources warn that it is not yet certain to go ahead.

This is the second time in six months that the private equity firm, which owns BCA, Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), has been poised to realise its investment in the business. In the autumn, CD&R halted a flotation, citing volatile equity markets.

BCA has more than 200 premises across Europe and says it is more than two-and-a-half times the size of its next largest competitor. It owns the online vehicle purchasing business webuyanycar.com, which acquired 120,000 vehicles in 2013.

The structure of the proposed BCA takeover is similar to a plan used last year by a group of City investors to acquire the roadside recovery service AA, and to list it through an accelerated initial public offering.If this deal goes ahead if will coincide with the £2.5bn flotation of Auto Trader, which is owned by rival management buyout firm Apax Partners.

If this deal goes ahead if will coincide with the £2.5bn flotation of Auto Trader, which is owned by rival management buyout firm Apax Partners.