Aramis Group confirms its ambitions outside France and is preparing to storm the stock market. The company specializing in the online sale of used cars (under the Aramisauto brand in France) announced at the end of the day on Monday the acquisition of Motor Depot, a pioneer in this market in the United Kingdom and home mother of the Carsupermarket.com site. Other acquisitions could follow, the student company to finance the possibility of a partial IPO by the end of the year.
Founded twenty years ago as Aramis, Motor Depot sold 20,000 cars last year, either online or at its 12 branches across the country. The company also has a reconditioning site (the French company has two), which repairs second-hand vehicles before putting them back on the market. Motor Depot achieved a turnover of 233 million euros last year, which will allow Aramis Group to total more than one billion euros in activity.
The two founders still in charge
For the company co-founded by Guillaume Paoli and Nicolas Chartier, this is the third international milestone after Spain in 2017 and Belgium in 2018. These acquisitions were made with the support of PSA, which took 70% of the capital in 2016. “For us, he is the ideal shareholder, Guillaume Paoli advances. We have retained our management autonomy [les deux fondateurs sont toujours coprésidents, NDLR], while benefiting from industrial synergies. “ The Madrid reconditioning center was therefore built on land leased by the manufacturer.
The objective of Aramis Group is to become “The preferred digital platform for buying used cars in Europe”. In this market which is both very large – around 400 billion euros in turnover across the continent – and ultra-fragmented, this will necessarily require other acquisitions.
A bustling market
To provide the means, the company announced on Monday that it had “Decided to explore the possibility of an IPO on Euronext Paris in 2021”. If this scenario were confirmed, PSA (now Stellantis since the merger with Fiat Chrysler) would retain a majority stake, and the two founders would remain key shareholders, the statement said.
This is probably the right time to raise funds. Long neglected despite its size, much larger than that of new cars, the used car market has been booming for several months, arousing both the renewed attention of manufacturers and the desire for pure player on the web. What push valuations upwards: in the United States, the Carvana company weighs 20 billion dollars on the stock market, despite a turnover four times lower and no financial year.
Aramis Group, for its part, has always been in the green. Despite the health crisis, turnover increased by 16% last year, to 831 million euros, for 67,000 vehicles sold. Adjusted operating profit reached 38 million last year, a margin of 4.6%, in both cases “A record” for the group, according to Guillaume Paoli.