Constellation Automotive Group, the company behind Cinch and, has acquired CarNext of the Netherlands.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

CarNext runs an online used car marketplace and its addition to Constellation’s suite of offerings alongside Cinch will reportedly make the private equity-backed group Europe’s largest “digital Arthur Daley”.

Avril Palmer-Baunack, Constellation’s executive chairman, said in a phone interview with the Bloomberg news agency that CarNext’s presence in Europe was roughly half the size already enjoyed by Cinch.

CarNext chief executive Sophie Krishnan told the AFP news agency that the merged group would allow it to “take pole position in Europe, with 2.5 million cars sold every year on our different platforms”.

In May of this year Cinch, which is owned by TDR Capital, raised GBP1bn from two sovereign wealth funds. It intends to use the money to develop its used car selling platform. Cinch goes up against Cazoo in the UK, AutoHero in Germany and Aramis Auto in France while new entrants continue to join the fray.

READ Cinch and Cazoo rival launches in UK as online car dealer battle hots up

A somewhat more old school motor dealer, Marshall Motor Holdings PLC (AIM:MMH), announced today it has acquired Motorline Holdings Limited for GBP64.5mln, funded from the group’s existing cash resources.

The net assets being acquired include roughly GBP20mln of cash and some GBP10mln of debt.

In a separate deal, Marshall acquired a related freehold property for GBP2.9mln and has the option to acquire two additional strategic freehold properties for GBP24.9mln.

Motorline is a multi-franchise dealer group headquartered in Canterbury and operating across Kent, West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Bristol, South Wales and the West Midlands.

In 2020 it made a profit before tax of GBP6.1mln, including roughly GBP4.0mln in profit for the disposal of freehold property, on GBP695.2mln of revenue.

Marshall said the acquisition is expected to enhance the company’s earnings in the first full year of ownership.

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