Online car retailer Cazoo has acquired SMH Fleet Solutions, a vehicle preparation, logistics and storage business, for approximately £70m in cash from LDC and other minority shareholders.
This deal will provide Cazoo with more vehicle preparation sites and production capabilities within the UK. The combination of Cazoo’s retail with SMH’s infrastructure will double Cazoo’s overall vehicle reconditioning, logistics and storage capabilities in the UK.
Cazoo’s founder Alex 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 de-risks 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.”
Tim Hudson, chief executive at SMH Fleet Solutions, 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.”
SMH has a team of over 500 staff processing more than 70,000 vehicle refurbishments annually from vehicle preparation sites across the UK. SMH also carries out over 150,000 vehicle movements per year, as well as operating an online wholesale platform for used cars.
Earlier this year, Cazoo also launched a monthly subscription service for new cars as well as now buying used cars directly from consumers in the UK, with plans to launch later this year in France and Germany.