Internet car dealer Cazoo eyes £5bn flotation

Online used-car dealer Cazoo is the latest British technology star to be linked with a stock market listing.

According to reports, the business could float with a valuation of around £5billion, making it one of the largest and fastest tech IPOs in recent years.

The firm was launched 15 months ago by Zoopla and Love Film founder Alex Chesterman and generated revenues of £160m in its first year.

In the money: Cazoo was launched 15 months ago by Zoopla and Love Film founder Alex Chesterman and generated revenues of £160m in its first year

Chesterman is a serial entrepreneur whose net worth is already valued at £360m. Cazoo going public with a value of £5billion would deliver a further £1.5billion windfall for the 51-year-old.

Daily Mail owner DMGT holds a 20 per cent stake in Cazoo that would be worth £1billion if that valuation was met.

DMGT shares soared 21.3 per cent, or 166p, to 946p yesterday. No timeline for a move to go public has been set although speculation suggests an IPO could happen by the end of the year.

Cazoo became one of the world’s fastest-ever unicorns – a tech company with a $1bn valuation – reaching the milestone in June last year when it raised £25m from investors including Draper Esprit.

A spokesman for Cazoo said: ‘Since our launch just over a year ago, we have already sold almost 20,000 cars to consumers across the UK who have embraced the selection, transparency and convenience of buying high-quality used cars entirely online.

‘As one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses, with revenues of over £160m in our first year alone, it is not surprising that there is speculation around whether or when we might IPO, but we do not comment on speculation and should we have an announcement to make on this or any other matter we shall do so at the appropriate time.’

Cazoo has hired Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Numis to work on the float, according to Sky News.

It is understood that a listing through a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) in New York is being considered as well as a float on the stock market in London.

The UK has been fighting hard to attract tech companies to the London stock exchange with many tech high-fliers choosing New York over the Capital.

In a statement, DMGT said: ‘DMGT owns a c.20 per cent stake in Cazoo, which is accounted for as an investment. DMGT will make a further announcement if appropriate.’

The Government has launched a review into stock exchange listing rules to examine ways to keep talented firms in the UK.