Cazoo pays £70 million for Worcester car storage and vehicle prep business SMH Fleet Solutions

Cazoo SMH Fleet Solutions

Cazoo, the UK’s leading online car retailer has acquired Worcester based SMH Fleet Solutions, one of the UK’s leading vehicle preparation, logistics and storage businesses, for £70 million.

Cazoo has acquired SMH from the private investment company LDC and other minority shareholders.

Established in 2003, SMH has a team of more than 500 staff currently processing more than 70,000 vehicle refurbishments annually from six vehicle preparation sites across 136 acres in Bedford, Gloucester, Throckmorton, Worcester and St Helens. SMH also carries out more than 150,000 vehicle movements per year with a team of 300 logistics specialists as well as operating an online wholesale platform for used cars.

The combination of Cazoo’s online retail platform and brand with SMH’s leading infrastructure and expertise will double Cazoo’s overall vehicle reconditioning, logistics and storage capabilities in the UK with 11 total sites across more than 265 acres, as well as providing it withhundreds of additional vehicle preparation and logistics specialists and its own digital wholesale platform.

Tim Hudson, CEO 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.”

Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo 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.

“Buying or selling a car entirely online from the comfort of your home and having it delivered or collected in a matter of days, just like any other product today, is clearly resonating with consumers and our record growth continues as they embrace the selection, value, quality and convenience of our proposition.”

Cazoo said the deal will provide it with one of the most extensive portfolios of vehicle preparation sites and production capabilities in the UK to meet its rapid growth plans. Once fully integrated, Cazoo will have the capacity to recondition and deliver hundreds of thousands of cars per year and store tens of thousands of cars, helping to secure its future requirements and materially de-risk its ability to meet its growth targets.

Cazoo is one of the fastest growing businesses in Europe, pioneering the shift to online car buying and selling and this acquisition follows its listing on the NYSE last month. Cazoo has already sold more than 35,000 cars in the UK since its launch less than two years ago.

It has also recently launched an all-inclusive monthly subscription service for new cars as well as now buying used cars directly from consumers in the UK and is gearing up to launch later this year in both France and Germany. Cazoo owns and fully reconditions all of its cars before offering them on its website for either delivery or collection in as little as 72 hours and has thousands of cars available at any time.