Used car platform Cazoo made its long-awaited stock market debut today as the firm went public in New York with a valuation of $8bn.
The float, which makes serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman’s latest project the most valuable US listed UK firm, came after it completed its merger with SPAC Ajax I.
Cazoo goes public: Will it be a hat-trick of triumphs for Alex Chesterman?
Chesterman, who rang the New York stock exchange’s opening bell to mark the start of the day’s trading, hailed the float as a “next chapter” for the firm, which he only founded in 2018.
Cazoo will get $1bn in proceeds from the listing, which it will use to continue the rapid growth it has thus far achieved.
As trading got underway shares in the firm rose 3.5 per cent.
In a statement, Chesterman said: “Today is an important and exciting day for Cazoo as we enter the public markets.
“Since we announced the transaction earlier this year, we have continued to see record growth in our revenues and gross profit, have brought our UK vehicle reconditioning in-house, providing full control of our operations and logistics and have started buying and reconditioning cars in mainland Europe ahead of our launch later this year.
“And we have launched a fully integrated all-inclusive monthly car subscription service in the UK as well as our car buying service to source inventory directly from consumers.”
Daily Mail owner DMGT, which owns around 132m shares in Cazoo, welcomed the successful listing.
Chief executive Paul Zwillenberg said: “We are very pleased with the rapid progress Cazoo has made. The listing marks another significant milestone for DMGT and we are delighted with the substantial capital appreciation on our £117m investment.”
The firm’s stake is now worth north of $1bn. The successful float is also one of the criteria that the Rothermere family have set out ahead of a potential bid to take DMGT private.
Martin Davis, chief executive of Draper Esprit, another of Cazoo’s investors, commented: “As a listed VC firm, we are especially delighted to see our portfolio companies list themselves and we offer our congratulations to Cazoo Group today.
“Cazoo was a bright star from the moment it incorporated and it is testament to depth of our network, the foresight of our Fund of Funds programme and our listed model that we able to support Cazoo’s stellar growth trajectory.
Cazoo sees revenue grow sevenfold as New York listing nears
“As Cazoo Group looks to its future we will keep working with our seed funds to identify the next generation of outstanding early-stage companies.”
The listing marks a third triumph for serial entrepreneur Chesterman, who made his name through the development and sale of LoveFilm and Zoopla.