U.K.-based online car retailer Cazoo on Wednesday (Sept. 15) announced its acquisition of vehicle prep, logistics and storage company SMH Fleet Solutions for approximately £70 million (almost $97 million) in cash from LDC and other minority shareholders.
SMH’s staff of more than 500 employees has completed more than 70,000 vehicle refurbishments from six locations in Bedford, Gloucester, Throckmorton, Worcester and St. Helens every year since its inception in 2003. The company also moves more than 150,000 vehicles every year and runs an online wholesale portal for used cars.
“Given strong consumer demand, the only real constraint to our future growth is ensuring that we have adequate capability to recondition, store and deliver enough cars to keep up,” said Alex Chesterman OBE, founder & CEO of Cazoo, in the joint announcement.
“Buying or selling a car entirely online from the comfort of your home and having it delivered or collected in a matter of days, just like any other product today, is clearly resonating with consumers, and our record growth continues as they embrace the selection, value, quality and convenience of our proposition,” he said.
The deal gives Cazoo 11 sites for vehicle reconditioning, logistics and storage capabilities in the U.K. and helps it launch a digital wholesale platform. The acquisition will give Cazoo the ability to recondition and deliver hundreds of thousands of cars and store tens of thousands of cars every year.
Cazoo has sold more than 35,000 cars in the U.K. since it launched less than two years ago. The company recently rolled out a monthly subscription offering for new cars and plans to launch later this year in France and Germany. The company promises delivery or collection in as little as 72 hours.
“We have built one of the leading teams in vehicle preparation and logistics in the U.K. and are very well placed to support the remarkable pace of growth at Cazoo and help it deliver on its mission of providing the best car buying and selling experience in the U.K.,” said Tim Hudson, CEO at SMH Fleet Solutions, in the joint announcement.
Last week, European open banking platform TrueLayer announced a new partnership with Cazoo that will make it easier for customers to order and pay for products online and allow Cazoo to issue faster refunds through PayDirect.