Carsales' purchase 'a natural fit'

The online car advertiser has looked closer to home for its latest deal, which will extend its reach into financing.

Carsales.com's Greg Roebuck has spent $130 million expanding offshore in the last 12 months, now he is extending his reach vertically through the acquisition of a controlling 50 per cent stake in Stratton Finance.

The way Roebuck looks at it, punters are looking for cars as much for how much it will cost them each month rather than just brand “X” and so he has acquired the expertise to deliver that service.

Stratton’s Rob Chaloner has long been an advertising client to Roebuck and the two see each other as having very similar approaches to the way cars will be sold in the future.

Stratton, a vehicle-finance business, arranges finance, insurance and salary packaging for car buyers. Linking up with Australia’s biggest market place offers the ideal springboard, because nearly every car sale means someone needs to finance their next car.

Stratton uses a panel of lenders, with BMW Finance and Macquarie the biggest, but the panel also includes ANZ, and Westpac among others.

Carsales pushed offshore last year with deals in Brazil with Web Motors, SK Encarsales in Brazil and iCarAsia in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Roebuck says offshore is still the major growth platform, but this deal, which will be earnings per share accretive from day one, is described as a natural fit.

The $60 million deal will be financed with cash and existing bank facilities.

The stockmarket likes the deal, with Carsales’s stock price up more than 4 per cent at $11.02 a share.

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