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KAR Auction Services announces CarsOnTheWeb acquisition

KAR Auction Services is to acquire CarsOnTheWeb (COTW), extending its European footprint and technical ability to manage cross-border sales.

The US-based firm owns ADESA Remarketing in the UK and wants to add the Belgian online action company to its growing global portfolio.

Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is valued at approximately £81m in cash and up to an additional £57m over a specified period of time contingent on certain terms, conditions and performance.

The companies expect to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2019.

“COTW is a highly respected online auction business delivering outstanding technology-driven services across multiple European markets.  We look forward to welcoming our new COTW colleagues to the business after the deal has closed,” said Jonathan Holland, ADESA Remarketing’s UK managing director.

COTW serves the wholesale vehicle sector in continental Europe where it connects OEMs, fleet owners, wholesalers and dealers.

With sales operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, COTW provides sellers in these countries and buyers in more than 50 countries with a wide range of vehicle auction, transportation and related support services.

COTW’s online and mobile tools are available in 19 languages and deliver real-time search, bid, payment and logistics scheduling functionality. The company also provides VAT-compliant payment, document transfer and post-sale processes supporting the 97% of customer transactions that involve cross-border sales.

“Cross-border transactions are particularly complex for European remarketers,” said Benjamin Skuy, KAR’s executive vice president for international markets and strategic initiatives.

“CarsOnTheWeb’s unique platform and logistics solutions directly address these challenges and have the power to deliver seamless, convenient and connected services on a global scale. By leveraging KAR’s broad portfolio of technology, strong industry relationships and existing ADESA UK operations, we can enhance these offerings and develop new opportunities to serve wholesale customers.”

After the transaction closes, KAR intends to retain COTW’s current operating locations, employees and key COTW leadership and management team members. This includes Johan Meyssen, CEO of COTW, who will report directly to Skuy.

ADESA Remarketing recently expanded it operation with a new Strategic De-fleet Centre in Newbury, Berkshire. The 14-acre site, on the former Greenham Common air base, is already fully operational and processing de-fleeted cars from major leasing companies and corporate fleets with OEMs and dealers set to follow.

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