US group Solera has bought vehicle information provider HPI from insurance giant Aviva.
The £81 million acquisition, which had been several months in planning, slots HPI alongside Solera’s only other UK-based business, Audatex. It provides insurers and bodyshops with software for motor accident claims management.
“The acquisition will help us meet some of the increased demand from our clients for access to integrated historical information on specific vehicles and specific clients,” said Solera chief executive Tony Aquila.
Aquila said Solera intends to grow the HPI business model regionally and internationally.
Brand extensions are already under consideration.
Aviva, which owns Norwich Union and the RAC, last year announced plans to focus on core insurance and vehicle breakdown services.
In November it agreed for German turnaround specialist Arques Industries to buy RAC Auto Windscreens, which Aviva had gained in its acquisition of the RAC in 2005.
HPI, headed by managing director Joe Doyle and automotive director Daniel Burgess, has offices in Salisbury and Harrogate and employs around 180 people.
Originally established in 1938, the vehicle provenance check provider has been part of Norwich Union since August 2004.
It holds a database of all UK registered vehicle data and histories and a national mileage register. In 2008, in a move to broaden its automotive offerings, it launched HPI Valuations, a residual valuation service headed by former CAP editor Martin Keighley.
Aviva said the gross assets of HPI totalled £112 million as at the end of October. HPI has been a significant referrer of motor insurance leads to Aviva and this will continue, said Aviva.