RNS Number : 5726F

Auto Trader Group plc

22 March 2022

22 March 2022


Auto Trader Group plc announces acquisition of Autorama (UK) Limited

Auto Trader Group plc (LSE: AUTO, "Auto Trader" or the "Company"), the UK's largest automotive marketplace, has today agreed to acquire, subject to regulatory approvals, the share capital of Autorama (UK) Limited, one of the UK's largest transactional marketplaces for leasing new vehicles.

Autorama has created a leading end-to-end digital platform, which aggregates leasing deals from multiple funders and OEMs (under its "Vanarama" brand), enabling buyers to transact online across a wide range of vehicles.

The acquisition will transform Auto Trader's existing leasing proposition and help to meet the demands of the growing number of consumers who might consider leasing their next new vehicle. In time, it will enable Autorama to leverage Auto Trader's brand to accelerate its recent expansion, beyond light commercial vehicles, into leasing new cars. There is a large structural opportunity for a new car leasing marketplace driven by the growth of electric cars, new manufacturers entering the UK market, lower take up of company car schemes and a shift towards new digital distribution models. Leasing provides consumers a cost-effective way to access a new car with a model that is consistent with any future move towards usership.

Nathan Coe, Chief Executive Officer of Auto Trader, said : "To ensure we have the largest choice of cars to buy online, we could not ignore the growing demand for leasing deals. In Vanarama, we have found an industry leading leasing platform that delivers a great consumer experience and significant sales for its partners. This acquisition will strengthen our leasing business and will enable us to offer both the biggest choice of vehicles and a seamless digital experience from search to sale. I am delighted to be welcoming Andy and his team to the Group."

Andy Alderson, Chief Executive Officer at Autorama, said: "As the leading aggregator of leasing deals online, we have sold over 120,000 vehicles for our manufacturer, retailer and lease company partners. Over the last few years we have invested significantly in our technical capability to help our partners respond to the high levels of consumer demand for a digital buying experience. We are hugely excited about the prospect of being able to accelerate our growth plans and deliver even more value to our partners as part of the Auto Trader Group."

Transaction details

Auto Trader will pay initial consideration of GBP150m in cash, with a further GBP50m of deferred consideration to be settled in shares subject to customary performance conditions 12 months after the completion date. Once issued, the shares will vest over a period of two years in two 12 month instalments. At 31 December 2021, Autorama had GBP27m of gross assets and for the calendar year 2021, made net revenue of GBP26m, selling c.14,500 vehicles and had an EBITDA loss of GBP6m, which included marketing costs of over GBP9m.

Completion of the transaction will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation.

Analyst presentation

A presentation for analysts will be held via audio webcast and conference call at 9.30am, Tuesday 22 March 2022. Details below.

Audio webcast: https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/gm88i27x

Conference call details :

Location                 Purpose       Phone Type   Number 
United Kingdom, London   Participant   Local        +44 (0) 2071 928 338 
                         ============  ===========  ==================== 

Passcode: 2905969

Please note: Questions will only be taken from the conference call. Participants on the conference call who also plan on following the slides via the webcast should switch the webcast to Phone mode using the cogwheel icon located on the bottom right corner of the webcast screen to ensure the slides are synced to the phone audio rather than the webcast audio.

If you have any trouble registering or accessing either the conference call or webcast, please contact Powerscourt on the details below.

For media information

      Powerscourt (Rob Greening or Sam Austrums) 
       autotrader@powerscourt-group.com               +44 (0)20 7250 1446 

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Our marketplace sits at the heart of the vehicle buying process, with the largest number of car buyers and the largest choice of trusted stock. Auto Trader exists to grow both its car buying audience and core advertising business. It will change how the UK shops for cars by providing the best online car buying experience, enabling all retailers to sell online. We aim to build stronger partnerships with our customers, use our voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices and create an inclusive and diverse culture. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

For more information, please visit https://plc.autotrader.co.uk/who-we-are/about-us/

About Autorama ("Vanarama" brand)

Founded in 2004, Autorama has become one of the leading platforms for aggregating leasing deals from multiple funders and OEMs (under its "Vanarama" brand). Vanarama was established by CEO Andy Alderson in 2004 and employs more than 250 people from its headquarters in Hertfordshire and remotely across the country. Vanarama's success has been driven by putting customer experience at the heart of all its activities. Investing heavily in industry-leading technology and customer service has been a major part of its formula for growth. In 2021, Vanarama was awarded seven gold awards at the UKCX Awards in recognition of its digital transformation, online customer experience and commitment to putting its customers and employees first during the Covid pandemic. Vanarama are also proud title sponsors of The National League, which is England's popular fifth tier of football.

For more information, please visit https://www.vanarama.com/

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 22, 2022 03:01 ET (07:01 GMT)

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