Wednesday 15 September 2021 2:04 pm

No sign of slowing down for Cazoo as buying spree continues

Cazoo has continued its recent acquisition spree by snapping up car preparation and storage firm SMH Fleet Solutions (SMH) for £70m.

The firm, which operates six sites across the UK, carries out 70,000 vehicle refurbishments a year.

Its 500 staff will join Cazoo as the used car marketplace seeks to continue the rapid growth it has achieved in recent months.

Later this year it will launch in France and Germany, its first forays into the European market.

It is the second purchase Cazoo has made in recent weeks, having already bought data firm Cazana for £25m.

It comes less than a month after the platform, the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Alex Chesterman, went public in New York via an $8bn SPAC deal.

Chesterman said: “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.

“By acquiring SMH, this helps solve that and derisks our future growth by immediately doubling our number of vehicle preparation sites and significantly enhancing our team of vehicle preparation and logistics staff. I look forward to welcoming the SMH team to Cazoo.”

SMH chief executive Tim Hudson said: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Alex and the team at Cazoo and see this as a perfect fit for SMH.

“We have built one of the leading teams in vehicle preparation and logistics in the UK 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 UK.”

Cazoo’s rapid growth was capped last week when the firm, which was only founded in 2018, became the UK’s most valuable company listed on US markets.

The firm made $1bn in proceeds from the float, which it said it would use to continue its expansion.