ABN Amro, Vortex Capital buy majority stake in CarsOnTheWeb

28 Dec 2016

Vortex Capital Partners and Dutch ABN Amro Participaties, the investment branch of ABN AMRO Bank, have acquired a majority stake in the European used-car auction site CarsOnTheWeb for an undisclosed amount. The company currently sells 40,000 used cars a year and intends to use the funds raised to expand that to 100,000 annually.

CarsOnTheWeb is a b-to-b company based in Tienen, Belgium. It sells cars originating from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France and Spain to car dealers in Europe with a special emphasis on Central Europe. It has 200,000 total visitors per month, according to SimilarWeb.

Founded in 2004 by Steven Lismont, who remains a shareholder, the company employs 120 people.

Once a vehicle is submitted by a user for remarketing, the site generates photos, damage reports and specifications. Users pay nothing for posting the auto, just a commission on the sale. CarsOnTheWeb works with car leasing companies, dealers and manufacturers, and says it has about 2,000 vehicles on the site.

Parent company CarsOnTheWeb (Ecadis NV) generated net income of €1 million last year on revenue of €287 million.

Vortex Capital Partners is an investment fund that focuses on fast-growing small and mid-sized enterprises headquartered in Benelux.

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Anastasia Gnezditskaia

Anastasia Gnezditskaia has joined AIM Group in 2014 as a writer/analyst covering France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Eastern Europe. A Russian living in Antwerp, Belgium, she has a background working for trade publications covering markets and their regulation. She is educated at Moscow State Lomonosov University (MA in psychology) and Central European University (PhD in public policy). After obtaining her doctoral degree, she taught international political economy at George Washington University in Washington DC where she lived for 10 years. Following this she managed international development projects in Africa at the World Bank, and worked as a journalist covering Congress, federal government agencies and commodity markets, particularly shale gas development in North America.