Reuters British online car seller Cazoo Holdings Limited said on Monday it has agreed to go public in New York through a merger with AJAX I Acquisition Corp, a blankcheck acquisition company led by billionaire U.S. investor Dan Och.
The deal with AJAX I, a special purpose acquisition company SPAC listed on the New York Stock Exchange, values Cazoo at 7 billion, including debt, more than double the 2.6 billion valuation in its private funding round in October.
It underscores how vehicle sales have shifted to online platforms during the coronavirus pandemic as car buyers practice social distancing.
We think, in markets like ours, that shift is permanent because consumers are discovering new ways to transact which are better, Cazoo Chief Executive Alex Chesterman said in an interview.
Chesterman founded Londonbased Cazoo in 2018. The company offers online purchases and delivery of used vehicles in Britain and continental Europe, operating a similar model to U.S. peer Carvana Co.
The European used car market is worth over 600 billion annually. Digital penetration is approximately 12, we think thats going to grow dramatically. That creates the opportunity, Och said.
Carvanas stock is up more than 400 in the last year, with a market capitalization of 44.6 billion. Shares of rival U.S. car seller Vroom Inc are up 68 since its IPO in July. However, CarLotz Inc, a U.S. consignment store for used vehicles, completed a SPAC merger in July and its shares currently trade at…