Bloomberg Reporter Ed Hammond said it best recently. Solera founder, Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila doesn’t follow the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) strategy for growth. Solera is a proponent of I&A (invent and acquire) expansion. [Watch the interview from the Goldman Sachs Leveraged Finance Conference HERE.]
More precisely, Aquila has been a champion of rapid innovation – such as defining and foreshadowing the future of the automotive service, maintenance and repair industry and then acquiring businesses that compliment Solera’s operations around the world to accelerate and achieve those goals. On a higher level, and as he shared on Bloomberg, Solera continues to bring together content and contact, transitioning B to B and B to C business models into B to All.
Now, with more than 50 acquisitions under the Solera umbrella, the organization is in a leadership position at the center of the 54 transactions in the automotive lifecycle and the 250 transactions for commercial trucking vehicles. Today, Solera processes over 300 million digital transactions annually for approximately 235,000 partners and customers in nearly 90 countries.
And the trophy goes to….Solera
Adding to recent attention for that growth was the purchase of UK-based Autodata that earned Solera the D CEO Mergers & Acquisitions Award for 2018 in the “Large Deals” category ($150 million to $999 million). The deal, which closed in early 2017, brings together the award-winning parent company — Solera — and its global reputation for processing automotive insurance and repair claims with Autodata — the trusted world-leading supplier of technical information to the automotive aftermarket, with comprehensive data from 160 vehicle manufacturers covering over 43,000 models worldwide.
The acquisition further underscores Solera’s expanding role at the epicenter to connect insurers, OEMs (manufacturers), dealers, body shops and the end-user for full transparency. And Solera continues to innovate technology that helps automotive service professionals not only understand every make and model on the road, but also provide fast and accurate service tailored to each vehicle.
Give some applause to the Dallas Business Journal for calling Aquila the “founder of a unicorn.” In a cover story about the entrepreneur last year, DBJ stated: “With the fourth company he’s founded, Aquila has undeniably built a growth machine.”
As Solera continues to go about its business of innovation and expansion, we will continue to go about our business of amazing media coverage for it all.