1st April 2021
Walker Morris fielded a multi-disciplinary team supporting Kirkland & Ellis to provide advice to Ajax I (NYSE: AJAX), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), on its business combination agreement with Cazoo Holdings Limited, the UK’s leading online car retailer with a fast-growing presence in Europe.
The transaction values the combined company at a pro forma enterprise value of approximately $7 billion.
AJAX is a $805m SPAC, founded by renowned US investor Dan Och in partnership with Glenn Fuhrman and a team of strategic advisors including the founders of Chipotle, Instagram, Square and 23andMe. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Cazoo and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “CZOO”.
Cazoo is pioneering the shift to online car buying in Europe. Following its recent acquisitions, Cazoo is now Europe’s leading car subscription player with over 6,000 subscribers across the UK, Germany and France.
Cazoo has developed a market leading platform and brand with a fully integrated model where it owns and reconditions all its cars before offering them for sale on its website for either delivery or collection in as little as 72 hours. Already the leading online car retailer in the UK, Cazoo has begun its international expansion as it seeks to digitally disrupt the $700bn European used car market which remains overwhelmingly offline.
Walker Morris formed part of the team providing Commercial, Employment, Pensions, Real Estate and Finance legal advice to Ajax I alongside Kirkland & Ellis.
The Walker Morris team comprised Laura Cavell, Daniel O’Connell, Richard Naish, Lee Crook, Aaron Dixon, Lorna Hopps, Andrew Rayment, Nicola Parkinson, Luke Riley, Ruth Bamforth, Adam Reed and Jeanette Burgess.
Richard Naish, partner at Walker Morris commented:
“We’ve been delighted to work alongside Kirkland & Ellis on providing support to Ajax I. Cazoo is a market leading player in the European online car buying industry and offers an exciting investment opportunity.
“This latest transaction comes at the end of a busy first quarter for 2021 which continues the wave of deal activity seen at the end of 2020. Many of the transactions which we have completed were cross-border transactions and the pipeline of foreign direct investment transactions on which the team is working demonstrates a strong continuing interest by purchasers outside the UK looking to acquire UK assets.”