In a $200 million deal, Malaysia’s Carsome and tycoon Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group will acquire ICar Asia.
Carsome Group, a Malaysian used car platform, announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Catcha Group, which is controlled by tycoon Patrick Grove, to acquire Australian-listed rival iCar Asia in a $200 million deal.
Carsome will acquire 19.9 percent of iCar Asia from Catcha in a share swap that will convert Catcha into a Carsome shareholder. After that, the pair will acquire the remaining 80.1 percent stake in iCar Asia.
Carsome is reportedly preparing to list in the United States at a $2 billion valuation, either through a backdoor listing through a special purpose acquisition company or through a conventional initial public offering.
“This is the first step toward consolidation in order to create the region’s largest digital automotive group in terms of revenue, user base, largest live listings, and best end-to-end fulfillment capability,” said Eric Cheng, Carsome’s cofounder and group CEO.
The combined entity intends to generate $1 billion in revenue this year through its online platforms for buying and selling used cars in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. Carsome said the transaction also solidifies its position as Southeast Asia’s most valuable digital automotive marketplace and Malaysia’s first tech unicorn.
“We are excited to join Carsome as shareholders and work with Eric and his team to strengthen our leadership position. We look forward to assisting the combined business in dominating Southeast Asia’s $55 billion digital automotive market in the years ahead,” Grove, founder and group CEO of Catcha, said.
Grove, 46, is a digital entrepreneur with interests in the privately held Catcha Group and the publicly traded Frontier Digital Ventures in Australia. In May 2020, he sold on-demand video service Iflix to Chinese tech giant Tencent for $50 million. Grove was ranked No. 45 on last month’s Malaysia Rich List, with a net worth of $365 million.