Auto Retail Agenda: 22 February 2021
21 February 2021
- CAZOO EYES £5bn IPO
- AUTO RETAIL IN LOCKDOWN: LISTERS TOYOTA
- INCHCAPE RETAIL LOSES £7.6m
- IS ‘NO JAB, NO JOB’ LEGAL?
- DVLA BALLOTS FOR STRIKE
- HOPES FOR EU RECOVERY STALL
- DETROIT RETAILERS CASHING OUT
- STOCKWATCH – Lookers volatility continues
- COMING UP – Inchcape PLC finals
- FURLOUGH ‘SHOULD REMAIN IN PLACE’
- GUMTREE PURCHASE RAISES COMPETITION CONCERNS
Cazoo eyes £5bn IPO
Cazoo is investigating going public with an IPO valuation potentially more than £5bn. It is working with bankers on options, which could involve a London listing, or a merger with a New York-listed special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Sky News says any move would not take place until much later in the year.
Shares in the owner of the Daily Mail, which holds a 20% stake in Cazoo (and has invested £117m in the online retailer), leapt by a fifth amid hopes of a £1bn profit.
Cazoo says it does “not comment on speculation, and should we have an announcement to make… we shall do so at the appropriate time”.
Over the weekend, it emerged founder Alex Chesterman sold shares worth £100m in September, shortly before Cazoo announced it had raised £240m (valuing the firm at more than £2bn). The sale was not announced at the time. In total, Cazoo (which has a workforce of 2,000) has raised £450m.
Cazoo has sold around 20k cars since its 2019 launch and generated revenues of more than £200m. Mr Chesterman modelled the company on US firm Carvana, whose valuation has soared from £2bn when floated in 2017, to £52bn.
Auto retail in lockdown: Listers Toyota
“Business has been tough,” says Richard Burt, general manager at Listers Toyota in Stratford-upon-Avon. “Trying to balance people’s wellbeing is the most important thing. It has taught us to evolve and accelerated some of the changes that, perhaps, we could have made sooner.
“For example, working at home felt like a taboo thing before. Now, we hold most of our meetings via Teams, rather than driving to meet up in person.
“In the original lockdown, we stayed open as long as we could to maintain key workers’ cars. We used our city centre sites and directed people towards these. Today, we are open for servicing, but customers can only buy via click-and-collect at the moment – and we can’t offer test-drives.
“That’s less of an issue with Toyota, though. The brand inspires huge loyalty from customers, helped by extremely reliable cars and a five-year warranty. This is the time when it shows.
“We’re also seeing a lot of conquest sales: one customer just traded in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI Final Edition. Some people want the GR Yaris as a daily-driver, others as an investment piece. But the waiting list is doubling every two weeks – and now stretches into December.”
Inchcape Retail publishes 2019 figures
Is ‘no jab, no job’ legal?
DVLA ballots for strike
A strike ballot is underway at the DVLA in Swansea after MP Geraint Davies said 25% of the workforce had caught coronavirus. The ballot ends on March 11 and, if sanctioned, the PCS union will be required to give two weeks’ notice.
Hopes for EU recovery stall
Detroit retailers cashing out
Consolidation of Detroit retailers is accelerating as dealership values have increased due to consumers avoiding public transport. Rather than invest, smaller operations are taking the opportunity to sell as larger enterprises seek scale to compete with online retailers such as Carvana.
Closing prices on 19 February 2021 and weekly change
Lookers volatility continues
Auto Trader Group 607.6p (+15.2p / +2.5%)
Cambria 61.5p (-1.5p / -2.4%)
Caffyns 415.0p (+30.0p / +7.0%)
Halfords 268.5p (+1.0p / +0.3%)
Inchcape 711.5p (+22.0p / +3.1%)
Lookers 42.0p (+8.25p / +21.7%)
Motorpoint 275.0p (+15.0p / +5.3%)
Pendragon 14.6p (-0.4p / -2.7%)
Vertu 38.1p (-0.4p / -1.0%)
Monday, PM statement to Parliament on roadmap out of lockdown
Tuesday, UK unemployment rate
Wednesday, BRC shop price index
Thursday, Inchcape PLC annual results
Friday, Nationwide house price index
Furlough ‘should remain in place’
Gumtree purchase raises competition concerns
The Competition and Markets Authority has raised competition concerns about the anticipated £6.5bn acquisition of eBay Classified Group (which operates Gumtree) by Adevinta (which owns Shpock). The two companies have until 23 February to offer legally binding solution to the CMA’s concerns, which then has five days to either accept the deal or refer it to an in-depth investigation. Which? has welcomed the CMA’s “robust” approach.
Start your free 14 day trial
Get free access to our Bulletin, Agenda & Profit for 14 days.
After 14 days we will auto bill your credit or debit card unless the order is cancelled.
As an auto retail executive you need insightful and unique industry intelligence to boost your business potential. Here’s a taste of what Auto Retail Network has to offer:
- Get informed and boost your business potential
- More than 1,200 fellow executives have joined us
- Independent, carefully crafted, unique content relevant to you and your business
- Develop a greater awareness of market trends and opportunities
- Access to a wide range of materials whenever, wherever and however you want it
- Significant discounts on ARN events, reports and