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Warburg Pincus leads acquisition of Exeter Finance

Exeter Finance LLC, an indirect auto finance company, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Warburg Pincus from funds managed by Blackstone. Terms of the private transaction have not been disclosed. 

Exeter is a rapidly growing tech-enabled indirect auto lender, with a managed loan portfolio of more than USD7 billion. The company underwrites, purchases, services and securitises retail installment contracts from more than 11,000 auto dealers and 475,000 customers nationwide. Exeter has leveraged its extensive automobile finance industry knowledge to deliver leading-edge technology and financial solutions to more than one million customers. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Warburg Pincus-led investor group as we enter this next phase of growth for Exeter. We have made tremendous progress under Blackstone’s ownership establishing Exeter as an industry leader, and I’m proud of the team’s solid execution,” says Jason Grubb, Exeter’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Warburg Pincus is a long-time, active investor in the auto industry across a variety of verticals including auto lenders, rental car providers, e-commerce distribution, and software platforms. Notable investments in the auto value chain include: Santander Consumer USA (SCUSA), China Auto Rental, Au Financiers, Uxin, defi SOLUTIONS, Cango, and Car Trade. 

“Exeter Finance is a pioneer in offering innovative financial solutions at scale across the credit spectrum. We have over a decade-long close and successful working relationship with this best-in-class management team and are looking forward to partnering with them again in Exeter Finance,” says Dan Zilberman, Managing Director and Head of Special Situations, Warburg Pincus. “We are excited to partner with Jason and the Exeter Finance team to further build on the company’s leading market position and accelerate future growth,” added Eric Friedman, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus. 

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Jason Grubb will remain as CEO and a meaningful investor in the company, alongside the current Exeter management team. 

Citi served as the lead financial advisor for Exeter Finance and Blackstone, along with Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to Exeter Finance and Blackstone. JP Morgan served as financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal advisor to the acquirers. 

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