HomeBussinessCazoo founder suffers share price wipeout as lenders seize control

Cazoo founder suffers share price wipeout as lenders seize control


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Mr Chesterman, who previously founded LoveFilm and Zoopla, set up the online car dealership Cazoo in 2018 and grew it rapidly before a stock market listing via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

However, the loss-making business has found itself under intense pressure as interest rates have risen and amid growing competition from rivals who have copied its online sales model.

Last year, Cazoo announced 750 job cuts and a hasty retreat from the new car leasing business.

The company has sold out of its Italian and Spanish businesses and wound down its French and German operations, extinguishing a grand plan to dominate online European second-hand car sales.

Mr Chesterman stepped down as chief executive in January, staying on as executive chairman.

New chief executive Paul Whitehead has been seeking to reduce the company’s cash burn in a race to improve performance. In an October update, Cazoo revealed the firm had £151m in cash, compared to £195m three months earlier, and would end the year with as little as £100m.

Cazoo has warned that the New York Stock Exchange has threatened to delist the company if its share price does not improve.

Rules dictate that a company must maintain a stock price of at least $1. Cazoo currently trades at 35 cents per share.

The company is currently valued at $14m. When it listed in the US in 2021, Cazoo raised $1bn to value it at $8bn.

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