Australian-owned online auto commerce business Carsales is taking control of Webmotors in Brazil, with shares halted while it raises needed capital.
AIM Group has reported that Carsales wants to raise A$500 million to acquire a further 40 per cent stake in Webmotors.
This will put Carsales’ stake in Webmotors at a controlling 70 per cent, with Santander retaining the remaining 30 per cent, along with “commercial exclusivity” for finance and insurance transactions.
Carsales plan to issue approximately 25 million new shares at a discounted A$19.95 each.
Chief executive Cameron McIntyre says the closer alignment of the two companies would enable Webmotors to benefit from Carsales’ expertise in digital marketing, customer experience, products, and value chain services.
“Webmotors is an outstanding automotive digital marketplace business with an innovative culture, proven track record of strong growth over time and significant opportunities for future growth,” he said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
AIM quotes Paul Barlow – now Australian managing director – from 2018 that Carsales helped transform Webmotors into the powerhouse it is today by shifting the focus of the business to one that “helps dealers sell cars, as opposed to advertising, as the key metric rather than having finance drive the business.”