It’s a sign of the times that online car retailers are now sponsoring major sports events and some are heading for a stock market listing, after just a few years of trading. Is the day of the traditional car dealership is pretty much over? Maybe it is.
Here’s the word from Cazoo;
Cazoo Holdings Limited (“Cazoo” or “the Company”), the UK’s leading online car retailer with a fast-growing presence in Europe, which makes buying a car as simple and seamless as purchasing any other product online, and AJAX I (“AJAX”) (NYSE: AJAX), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), today announced the signing of a definitive business combination agreement.
AJAX is a $805m SPAC, founded by renowned US investor Dan Och in partnership with Glenn Fuhrman and a team of strategic advisors including the founders of Chipotle, Instagram, Square and 23andMe. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Cazoo and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “CZOO”.
UK investors who fancy a slice of Cazoo can buy shares in an NYC listed company via several online trading platforms. Sometimes there are slightly higher charges each time you trade, and of course there is the time difference, but otherwise it’s the same process.
Cazoo is pioneering the shift to online car buying in Europe and since being founded in 2018, has delivered over 20,000 cars and is also now Europe’s leading car subscription player with over 6,000 subscribers across the UK, Germany and France.
Cazoo has developed a market leading platform and brand with a fully integrated model where it owns and reconditions all its cars before offering them for sale on its website for either delivery or collection in as little as 72 hours. Already the leading online car retailer in the UK, Cazoo has begun its international expansion as it seeks to digitally disrupt the $700bn European used car market which remains overwhelmingly offline.
As one of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses, Cazoo expects to achieve revenues approaching $1bn in 2021, a growth rate of more than 300% in its second full year of operations and has already built a team of over 1,800 across the UK, Germany, France and Portugal. The company will continue to be led by its Founder & CEO, Alex Chesterman OBE, along with its world class management team. AJAX’s founder, Dan Och, will join the combined company’s Board of Directors.
Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo, commented, “This announcement is another major milestone in our continued drive to transform the way people buy cars across Europe. We have created the most comprehensive and fully integrated offering in the largest retail sector which currently has very low digital penetration. This deal will provide us with almost $1 billion of further funds to fuel our growth and I am delighted to be partnering with Dan and his team at AJAX to rapidly expand and deliver the best car buying experience to consumers across Europe.”
Dan Och, Founder of AJAX said, “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to partner with Alex and the exceptional team at Cazoo. Alex has proven to be one of Europe’s most successful serial entrepreneurs and we are proud to be supporting the growth of this world-class team, brand and platform. With their constant focus on innovation, data and customer satisfaction, I have no doubt that Cazoo is going to continue to lead the way in this massive, untapped market opportunity and am looking forward to joining the Board of Cazoo and working with Alex and his team.”
Daniel Sundheim, Founder & CIO of D1 Capital Partners said, “As a long-term investor in Cazoo and believer in its leadership team, we are pleased to continue supporting Cazoo’s growth as a public company. While Cazoo had many options for funding its strategy, its decision to merge with AJAX and join with Dan Och and other renowned partners was a good one that will have positive implications for the company and its future.”