The reported sale occurred just before Cazoo raised an additional £240 million from investors to move forward with expansion plans. This more than doubled its total funding to £450 million. Chesterman’s sale of stock was part of a £180 million sale by investors that was not announced at the time and that the shares were sold to ‘make room for new later-stage investors’, according to the report. Cazoo has declined to comment on the reports.
On Friday, reports emerged from Sky News that Cazoo is exploring options to list as a public company with a valuation of over £5 billion ($7 billion U.S.).
The timing of Chesterman’s sale of the shares, if accurate, would mean he made less in September than he would if he sold them if and when Cazoo makes a public listing, with a company valuation of reportedly $7 billion, which is higher than $2.8 billion. However, there can be many reasons why an owner wants to cash out at a specific time.
Some auto industry experts are questioning the proposed valuation of a company that is just 15 months old and posted a loss of £19 million in its first reported accounts, which only covered the first month of trading and included high start-up costs. Other U.K. publicly-listed motoring groups such as Lookers and Pendragon are valued at just £160 million and £200 million respectively.
Other Cazoo investors have seen their share price rise as a result of the IPO reports. The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) owns 20% of Cazoo and its share price rose from 781p to 946p on reports that Cazoo may go public later this year.