August 1, 2021

Exeter to be acquired by private equity-led investor group

Exeter Finance, one of the largest subprime auto finance companies in the U.S., said Monday it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

The New York-based firm, working with other investors, will acquire the Texas lender from another private equity firm, Blackstone, which has owned Exeter since 2011. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed, according to a statement.

Exeter, of Irving, Texas, was founded in 2006 and has an auto loan portfolio of more than $7 billion as of May 31, according to a spokesman. The company underwrites, purchases, services and securitizes retail installment contracts from more than 11,000 franchised and independent auto dealerships and 475,000 customers nationwide.

Exeter CEO Jason Grubb said in a statement the acquisition ushers in the next phase of the finance company’s growth.

“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,” he said.

The Exeter acquisition is the latest investment in related automotive verticals for Warburg Pincus. The group also has invested in Santander Consumer USA, China Auto Rental, Au Financiers, Uxin and defi SOLUTIONS, among other companies.

The transaction is expected to close by year’s end and is subject to customary closing conditions, the statement also said. Grubb will remain as CEO and “meaningful investor” in Exeter, alongside the current management team.

Dan Zilberman, managing director and head of special situations at Warburg Pincus, said the investor group has maintained a working relationship with Exeter for more than 10 years.

Prior to their roles at Exeter, Grubb and several other members of the executive team worked at Santander.